Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS6405033 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/126,041
Publication date11 Jun 2002
Filing date29 Jul 1998
Priority date29 Jul 1998
Fee statusPaid
Also published asEP1101323A2, WO2000007332A2, WO2000007332A3
Publication number09126041, 126041, US 6405033 B1, US 6405033B1, US-B1-6405033, US6405033 B1, US6405033B1
InventorsWilliam C. Kennedy, III, Dale E. Beasley, Terry S. Parker, Thomas D. Russell, William C. Saunders
Original AssigneeTrack Communications, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System and method for routing a call using a communications network
US 6405033 B1
Abstract
A communication system includes mobile units, a network switching center, and service centers to provide a variety of traditional and enhanced services to the mobile units. Using a user interface, an operator of a mobile unit issues a request for services from one or more service centers. The network switching center receives the request for services and, in response, accesses a profile table to select an appropriate service center to establish a communication session with the mobile unit. The selected service center provides enhanced services to the mobile unit to satisfy the service request.
Images(14)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(45)
What is claimed is:
1. A system for routing a call from a mobile unit to a selected one of a plurality of service centers, comprising:
a mobile unit coupled to a voice network and a global computer network that is independently accessible from the voice network, the mobile unit comprising:
a computing device operable to establish a first communication session with a particular service center using the global computer network; and
a platform operable to communicate a service message in a call using the voice network; and
a network switching center coupled to the voice network, the network switching center operable to receive the service message communicated by the mobile unit and in response to the service message, to establish a second communication session between the mobile unit and the particular service center using the voice network.
2. The system of claim 1, wherein the mobile unit is associated with a vehicle.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein the mobile unit further comprises a user interface coupled to the platform, the user interface having a display and a plurality of buttons, wherein the platform communicates the service message in response to the activation of a service button.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein the mobile unit further comprises a plurality of sensors coupled to the platform, wherein the platform communicates the service message in response to information generated by a sensor.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein the mobile unit further comprises an interactive voice response unit coupled to the platform, the interactive voice response unit operable to process verbal commands using voice recognition techniques, wherein the platform communicates the service message in response to the issuance of a verbal command.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein the platform comprises a transceiver that includes a traditional services number assignment module and an enhanced services number assignment module, and wherein the transceiver initiates registration with the voice network using the enhanced services number assignment module.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein the network switching center further comprises a profile table that stores information relating the mobile unit to the particular service center.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein the network switching center further comprises a profile table that stores information relating the mobile unit to the particular service center based on a call type specified in the service message.
9. The system of claim 8, wherein the call type indicates a request for emergency services, roadside assistance, or information services.
10. The system of claim 1, wherein the network switching center further comprises a profile table that stores information relating the mobile unit to the particular service center based on location information specified in the service message.
11. The system of claim 1, wherein:
the service message specifies a status of the mobile unit, the status comprising a selected one of a priority status or a non-priority status; and
the network switching center selects the service center based upon the status of the mobile unit.
12. The system of claim 1, wherein:
the network switching center comprises a switch operable to receive the call initiated by the mobile unit and to initiate a second call to the selected service center using the voice network, the network switching center further comprising a router operable to communicate a data message to the selected service center using a data network, wherein the second call and the data message specify an identifier of the mobile unit; and
the selected service center is operable to receive the second call and the data message, and further operable to associate the second call and the data message using the identifier of the mobile unit.
13. The system of claim 1, wherein the service center is operable to provide voice services to the mobile unit using the voice network and to provide data services to the mobile unit using the global computer network.
14. The system of claim 1, wherein the service center is operable to provide data services to the mobile unit using the voice network.
15. The system of claim 3, wherein portions of the user interface are embodied in a rearview mirror of a vehicle.
16. The system of claim 1, wherein the first communication session comprises a data session and the second communication session comprises a voice session.
17. The system of claim 1, wherein the first communication session comprises a voice session and the second communication session comprises a data session.
18. A method for routing a call from a mobile unit to a selected one of a plurality of service centers, comprising:
generating a service message at a mobile unit;
communicating the service message in a voice call using a voice network;
selecting one of a plurality of service centers in response to the service message;
establishing a first communication session between the mobile unit and the selected service center using the voice network; and
establishing a second communication session between the mobile unit and the selected service center using a global computer network that is independently accessible from the voice network.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the mobile unit is associated with a vehicle.
20. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of generating the service message comprises generating the service message in response to the activation of a button at the mobile unit.
21. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of generating the service message comprises generating the service message in response to the activation of a sensor at the mobile unit.
22. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of generating the service message comprises generating the service message in response to a verbal command received by an interactive voice response unit at the mobile unit.
23. The method of claim 18, wherein the mobile unit comprises a transceiver that includes a traditional services number assignment module and an enhanced services number assignment module, and wherein the step of communicating the service message comprises:
initiating registration with the voice network using the enhanced services number assignment module; and
communicating the service message using the voice network.
24. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of selecting comprises selecting the service center in response to information stored in a profile table at a network switching center.
25. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of selecting comprises selecting the service center in response to a call type specified in the service message.
26. The method of claim 25, wherein the call type indicates a request for emergency service, roadside services, or information services.
27. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of selecting comprises selecting the service center in response to location information specified in the service message.
28. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of selecting comprises selecting the service center in response to verbal commands received by an interactive voice response unit at a network switching center.
29. The method of claim 18, wherein the step of establishing the first communication session comprises:
initiating a second call to the service center using the voice network, the second call specifying an identifier of the mobile unit; and
communicating a data message to the service center using a data network, the data message comprising the identifier of the mobile unit and data associated with the mobile unit.
30. A system for routing a call from a mobile unit to a selected one of a plurality of service centers, comprising:
a mobile unit coupled to a voice network and a global computer network that is independently accessible from the voice network, the mobile unit comprising:
a computing device; and
a platform operable to communicate a service message in a first call using the voice network; and
a network switching center coupled to the voice network and operable to receive the service message, the network switching center comprising:
a processor operable to select one of a plurality of service centers in response to the service message; and
a switch coupled to the processor and operable to initiate a second call to the selected service center to establish a first communication session;
wherein the computing device is operable to establish a second communication session with the selected service center using the global computer network.
31. The system of claim 30, wherein the mobile unit is associated with a vehicle.
32. The system of claim 30, wherein the mobile unit further comprises a user interface coupled to the platform, the user interface having a display and a plurality of buttons, wherein the platform communicates the service message in response to the activation of a button.
33. The system of claim 30, wherein the mobile unit further comprises a plurality of sensors coupled to the platform, wherein the platform communicates the service message in response to the activation of a sensor.
34. The system of claim 30, wherein the mobile unit further comprises an interactive voice response unit coupled to the platform, the interactive voice response unit operable to process verbal commands using voice recognition techniques, wherein the platform communicates the service message in response to the issuance of a verbal command.
35. The system of claim 30, wherein the platform comprises a transceiver that includes a traditional services number assignment module and an enhanced services number assignment module, and wherein the transceiver initiates registration with the voice network using the enhanced services number assignment module.
36. The system of claim 30, wherein the network switching center further comprises a profile table coupled to the processor, the profile table storing information relating the mobile unit to the selected service center.
37. The system of claim 30, wherein the network switching center further comprises a profile table coupled to the processor, the profile table storing information relating the mobile unit to the selected service center based on a call type specified in the service message.
38. The system of claim 37, wherein the call type indicates a request for emergency services, roadside assistance, or information services.
39. The system of claim 30, wherein the network switching center further comprises a profile table coupled to the processor, the profile table storing information relating the mobile unit to the selected service center based on location information specified in the service message.
40. The system of claim 30, wherein:
the service message specifies a status of the mobile unit, the status comprising a selected one of a priority status or a non-priority status; and
the network switching center selects the service center based upon the status of the mobile unit.
41. The system of claim 30, wherein the service center is operable to provide voice services to the mobile unit using the voice network and to provide data services to the mobile unit using the global computer network.
42. The system of claim 30, wherein the service center is operable to provide data services to the mobile unit using the voice network.
43. The system of claim 32, wherein portions of the user interface are embodied in a rearview mirror of a vehicle.
44. The system of claim 30, wherein the first communication session comprises a voice session and the second communication session comprises a data session.
45. The system of claim 30, wherein the first communication session comprises a data session and the second communication session comprises a voice session.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/126,018, filed on Jul. 29, 1998, by William C. Kennedy, III et al., and entitled “System and Method for Providing Directions Using a Communication Network,” and pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/124,951, filed on Jul. 29, 1998, by William C. Kennedy, III et al., and entitled “System and Method for Providing Menu Data Using a Communication Network.”

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of telecommunications, and more particularly to a system and method for communicating over a communication network using a user interface.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

With the proliferation of sophisticated communication technology, consumers demand a wider range of communication solutions to meet their increasing needs. Many of these technologies may not be adaptable to a mobile environment. For example, existing call center technology supports communication sessions to deliver customer services. Typically, a customer engages in a communication session to receive a predefined service. A customer may dial a 1-800 number to place an order for clothing with a mail-order organization, to trade stocks or mutual funds, or to perform some other suitable transaction. Often these communication sessions include a conversation with a live operator that can access data related to the service. However, existing communication technology does not enable access to these customer services by an operator of a vehicle, such as a car, truck, boat, or airplane. In particular, these technologies do not support a user interface that is configurable in a mobile environment to enable access to a variety of local or remote services in an integrated communication system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a communication system and method are provided that substantially eliminate or reduce disadvantages or problems associated with previously developed communication systems and methods. In particular, the present invention provides a system and method for communicating over a communication network using a programmable user interface.

In one embodiment of the present invention, a system for routing a call from a mobile unit to a selected one of a plurality of service centers includes a mobile unit coupled to a voice network. The mobile unit includes a platform that communicates a service message in a call using the voice network. The system further includes a network switching center coupled to the voice network. The network switching center receives the service message communicated by the mobile unit, selects one of a plurality of service centers in response to the service message, and establishes a communication session between the mobile unit and the selected service center using the voice network.

Another embodiment of the present invention is a method for routing a call from a mobile unit to a selected one of a plurality of service centers. The method includes generating a service message at a mobile unit and communicating the service message in a call using a voice network. The method continues by selecting one of a plurality of service centers in response to the service message. The method concludes by establishing a communication session between the mobile unit and the selected service center using the voice network.

Technical advantages of the present invention include an arrangement of mobile units, one or more Network Switching Centers (NSCs), and one or more service centers. The mobile units direct requests for enhanced services to the NSC which may then determine an appropriate service center to satisfy the request. In particular, the NSC selects an appropriate service center in response to information communicated in the service message and information stored in profile tables at the NSC. The service message generally identifies the mobile unit, the class of services requested, the location of the mobile unit, the priority level of the message, and any other information that may be used by the NSC to route the call from the mobile unit to the appropriate service center, as well as by the service center to provide the requested service. The profile tables include information that relates individual or groups of mobile units to associated service centers and access information to establish a voice path, data path, or both to the selected service center. The components of the communication system combine to establish a communication session between a mobile unit and the selected service center. The selected service center provides enhanced services to the mobile unit during the communication session to satisfy the request.

Other important technical advantages of the present invention include the adaptation of the invention to provide a variety of enhanced services in a mobile environment. In a particular embodiment, mobile units are associated with cars, trucks, boats, barges, airplanes, cargo holders, persons or other mobile items that may desire a selection of services. These services may include emergency services, roadside assistance, information services (e.g., directions, news and weather reports, financial quotes, etc.), or other services. The NSC maintains information to relate and provide these services upon request by the mobile units.

Further technical advantages of the present invention include a user interface at the mobile unit having a display and a number of buttons. In one embodiment, the display presents a menu structure having one or more levels of static or dynamic menu options that facilitate requesting enhanced services from the service centers, monitoring and controlling sensors and actuators at the mobile unit, and performing any of the unique features and functions of the mobile unit. The service centers may also download to the mobile unit menu data specifying new or updated menu structures and/or associated menu options for available enhanced services. The operator of the mobile unit may navigate through and select menu options using the buttons. In a particular embodiment, portions of the user interface are embodied in a rearview mirror of a vehicle associated with the mobile unit. The display is presented through the glass of the mirrored surface while the buttons are arranged strategically about the perimeter of the mirrored surface.

Still other technical advantages of the present invention include the use of an audio recorder to store downloaded data in an appropriate format at the mobile unit. In one embodiment, the audio recorder stores different segments of a set of directions downloaded by a service center. An operator of the mobile unit may manually play back each segment of the directions in succession. Alternatively, a processor and a GPS device associated with the mobile unit may automatically play back each segment of the directions when the mobile unit is in near proximity to the location at which the next step of the directions is to be executed. In another embodiment, the audio recorder stores and plays back other downloaded data, such as voice mails, e-mails, voice notes, or any other suitable communication. Other technical advantages are readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the following figures, descriptions, and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention and its advantages, reference is now made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numbers indicate like features and wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a communication system that includes mobile units, a network switching center (NSC), and service centers;

FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of a user interface of a mobile unit;

FIG. 3 illustrates a number of different audio modes used by the communication system;

FIG. 4 illustrates in more detail one embodiment of the NSC;

FIG. 5 illustrates in more detail one embodiment of a service center;

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a code table maintained by the NSC;

FIGS. 7A-7C illustrate exemplary embodiments of profile tables maintained by the NSC;

FIGS. 8A-8C illustrate exemplary embodiments of profile tables maintained by the NSC;

FIGS. 9A-9C illustrate exemplary embodiments of profile tables maintained by the NSC;

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a service table maintained by the NSC;

FIG. 11 illustrates exemplary message formats and messaging techniques used in the communication system;

FIGS. 12A and 12B are flow charts of a method of routing a call from a mobile unit to a selected service center of the communication system;

FIGS. 13A and 13B are flow charts of a method of providing directions using the communication system;

FIGS. 14 is a flow chart of a method of playing back the directions; and

FIG. 15 is a flow chart of a method of broadcasting data from a service center to a number of mobile units using the communication system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a communication system 10 that includes a number of mobile units 12 coupled to a network switching center (NSC) 14 and a number of service centers 16 by a voice network 18 and, optionally, a data network 20. Each mobile unit 12 includes at least a user interface 22 and a platform 24. In one operation, interface 22 and platform 24 enable control of the local features and functions available at mobile unit 12. In another operation, interface 22 and platform 24 enable mobile unit 12 to issue a request for enhanced services from service centers 16 using NSC 14. NSC 14 accesses stored profile tables using a service message issued by mobile unit 12 to select an appropriate service center 16. The selected service center 16 provides enhanced services to mobile unit 12 to satisfy the request.

Mobile units 12 may be hand-held or portable devices associated with any mobile items 25, such as cars, trucks, boats, barges, airplanes, cargo holders, persons, or other items that are movable or mobile. Mobile unit 12 includes user interface 22 that couples to platform 24, sensors 26, actuators 28, interactive voice response (IVR) unit 29, and computing devices 30 using a communication bus 32. Mobile unit 12 contemplates any arrangement, processing capability, memory allocation, or task assignment between user interface 22, platform 24, sensors 26, actuators 28, IVR unit 29, and computing devices 30.

User interface 22 includes a display 34 and a variety of buttons 36. Interface 22 enables local access to platform 24, sensors 26, actuators 28, and computing devices 30, and/or remote access to service centers 16 via NSC 14 using network 18 and, optionally, network 20. An operator of mobile unit 12 may activate a button 36 to perform any contemplated feature or function of user interface 22 and/or mobile unit 12, such as, for example, to request a desired service from a particular service center 16, or to monitor and control sensors 26, actuators 28, and/or computing devices 30.

Platform 24 comprises a communications platform that supports multiple applications that operate locally at mobile unit 12 and remotely using voice network 18 and NSC 14. Platform 24 includes a processor 38 that is coupled to a memory 40, a cellular transceiver 42, a modem 44, a pager receiver 46, a global positioning satellite (GPS) device 48, an audio interface 50, a power controller 52, a dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) decoder/generator 54, and a clock 56.

Processor 38 comprises a central processing unit (CPU) that manages the communicating, processing, locating, interfacing, and reporting features of mobile unit 12. Processor 38 operates and controls the other components of platform 24, and interprets and responds to all input events. For example, processor 38 detects the activation of buttons 36 at interface 22 and, in one embodiment, generates an appropriate service message 58 for communication to NSC 14. In another operation, processor 38 gathers various pieces of information from sensors 26, memory 40, cellular transceiver 42, pager receiver 46, GPS device 48, or other sources, and integrates this information into a data report for transmission over network 18. The data report can be time stamped using time generated by clock 56.

Memory 40 comprises random access memory (RAM), flash memory, read-only memory (ROM), CD-ROM, removable memory devices, or any other device that allows storage or retrieval of data. Processor 38 and memory 40 may be separate or integral components of mobile unit 12. Memory 40 contains programs, maps, databases, and other information used by mobile unit 12 to perform its functions. For example, memory 40 stores audio modes 62, described in detail with reference to FIG. 3, used by mobile unit 12 to perform its unique audio functions. Memory 40 stores message formats 62 used to generate service message 58 and protocols 64 used to communicate service message 58 to NSC 14. Memory 40 stores programs used by processor 38, such as voice recognition software 68, audio recorder software 70 and associated audio recordings 72, speech synthesis software 74 and associated speech synthesis database 76, autonomous registration software 78, and any other program or application used by processor 38 or any other component of mobile unit 12. Memory 40 further stores configuration data 80, data logs 82, and menu structures 84. In one embodiment, memory 40 stores number assignment modules (NAMs), such as NAM 86 and NAM 88, to support varying classes of service provided by network 18. For example, NAM 86 may support personal services while NAM 88 may support enhanced services.

Configuration data 80 comprise data that may be configured by NSC 14 and/or service providers 16. Configuration data 80 may include formats for menu structures 84. Configuration data 80 may also include phone numbers associated with NSC 14 dialed by platform 24 to initiate a communication session. Furthermore, configuration data 80 may include system identification (SID) information, such as, for example, SID tables that identify those cellular systems with which mobile unit 12 may register and operate. Moreover, configuration data 80 may include any configuration standards, such as delay codes and interval codes, that regulate the operation of mobile unit 12.

Data logs 82 comprise statistics reports regarding each communication session established using enhanced services NAM 88. This information is time stamped using clock 56, and describes when the call was initiated, when the connection to NSC 14 was made, how much data was sent and received, when the call switched to voice mode, switched back to data mode, and/or when the call was completed. Each entry may also include the GPS position and current SID. Furthermore, failed call attempts may be logged with the reason for the failure. In one embodiment, memory 40 has enough storage capacity for at least one hundred communication statistics reports. These statistics reports may be transmitted during any data handshake with NSC 14. Once the statistics reports have been sent to NSC 14, they may be deleted from memory 40. Data logs 82 may be implemented as a circular buffer, where the oldest entries are replaced with newer entries when the buffer is full.

Menu structures 84 comprise a hierarchical arrangement of static or dynamic menu options that facilitate requesting enhanced services from service centers 16, monitoring and/or controlling the various components of mobile unit 12, and performing any of the features and functions of mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, the menu options enable selected functions associated with enhanced services, such as emergency services, roadside assistance, and information services. Service centers 16 may download to mobile unit 12 menu data specifying new or updated menu structures 84 and/or the associated menu options for enhanced services offered to mobile unit 12. Menu structures 84 and the associated menu options may be presented to an operator of mobile unit 12 using display 34 of user interface 22.

Cellular transceiver 42 includes components that provide mobile voice communications, including multiple NAM registration, paging control, autonomous registration control, handsfree communication, and the remote programmability of mobile identification numbers (MINs). In one embodiment, transceiver 42 retries failed communication attempts with NSC 14 at suitable intervals defined by the interval codes stored in configuration data 80. In this embodiment, configuration data 80 also specifies a number of retry attempts to be made by transceiver 42 until a call is placed to a local “911” number.

Transceiver 42 may include a handset 92 and a program memory to store data and instructions for operation. Handset 92 includes transmit and receive circuitry that interfaces with processor 38 so that all key presses may be interpreted and processed as, for example, DTMF tones. In a particular embodiment, transceiver 42 may register with network 18 using either of NAMs 86 and 88 to support inbound and/or outbound communication. For example, NAM 88 may be designated for providing enhanced services, while NAM 86 provides traditional cellular services. Although transceiver 42 is described with reference to NAMs 86 and 88, it should be understood that transceiver 42 supports communication with any number of designated or traditional NAMs operating individually or simultaneously.

Modem 44 may comprise any suitable remote access device that supports communication with NSC 14 using any suitable communication protocol. In one embodiment, modem 44 supports simultaneous voice and data communications over voice network 18 and/or global computer network 98.

Pager receiver 46 includes data transmission and reception circuitry capable of transmitting and receiving paging signals over a typical paging network. In one embodiment, pager receiver 46 receives a page specifying a particular NAM, such as personal services NAM 86 or enhanced services NAM 88. In response, transceiver 42 registers with voice network 18 using the specified NAM. This technique for specifying to mobile unit 12 a particular NAM in a paging signal allows transceiver 42 to receive calls using multiple NAMs without requiring the transceiver to register each NAM simultaneously.

GPS device 48 generates information on the geographic location of mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, GPS device 48 generates latitude, longitude, and altitude position information at suitable intervals defined by the interval codes stored in configuration data 80. In particular, a plurality of orbiting satellites, represented by satellites 49, transmit pseudorange information and have determinable orbits such that the earth location of mobile unit 12 may be ascertainable by triangulation of these pseudoranges, or by other well-known positioning techniques.

Audio interface 50 comprises suitable software and hardware to provide source-to-destination routing and switch control of various audio signals operating within communication system 10. Audio interface 50 further comprises suitable circuitry to filter and amplify the audio signals to provide acceptable operation in various environments, including both the automotive and heavy duty truck environments. In one embodiment, audio interface 50 may mute a radio associated with vehicle 25 so that the audio signals may be heard by the operator. Moreover, processor 38 and audio interface 50 operate to implement the various audio modes 62 stored in memory 40.

Power controller 52 comprises a power supply and associated power control circuitry. The power supply provides a constant supply voltage from the battery associated with vehicle 25, and an internal battery for critical data retention when no vehicle battery is present. The power control circuitry provides input power filtering, limiting, protection, monitoring, switching, and control to enable mobile unit 12 to remain powered up even if the ignition associated with vehicle 25 is lost. Upon the loss of ignition, platform 24 will wait until a configurable power down delay, stored in configuration data 80, has elapsed and all processing is complete, including any calls in progress, prior to powering itself down. In one embodiment, power controller 52 supports the ability to place transceiver 42 in a low power state even when mobile unit 12 is powered down. In the low power state, transceiver 42 simply monitors the overhead channel for pages and orders. Upon the receipt of a page directed to one of the supported NAMs, transceiver 42 wakes up mobile unit 12, and responds to the page.

DTMF decoder/generator 54 comprises suitable software and hardware that enables platform 24 to process calls communicated over voice network 18 using DTMF techniques. In particular, the DTMF decoder enables platform 24 to receive DTMF encoded messages over voice network 18. The DTMF generator enables platform 24 to send DTMF encoded messages over voice network 18. This technique is advantageous since it facilitates sending data during a voice call.

Clock 56 provides both time keeping and alarm capabilities to platform 24. Service message 58, data logs 82, and any other communication or report may be time stamped using clock 56. An alarm associated with clock 56 may be used to signal mobile unit 12 to execute a particular function, such as initiating a communication sequence with NSC 14. In addition, an alarm output signal may be used as an input to the power supply to power up mobile unit 12 when it is time to execute a particular function. Clock 56 has constant power at all times when mobile unit 12 is connected to the vehicle power. In addition, clock 56 may be backed by an internal battery, contained in the power supply, for maintaining accurate clock time during periods when mobile unit 12 is not connected to vehicle power.

Sensors 26 may include engine sensors, trailer sensors, personal medical sensors, airbag deployment sensors, alarms, temperature gauges, accelerometers, security sensors, onboard positioning sensors, or other sensors that generate information on the status or condition of mobile unit 12, or its operator. Actuators 28 may include security alarm devices, door lock/unlock devices, engine cutoff devices, or any other actuators that can receive actuator commands associated with an enhanced service in system 10 and implement them on a mobile item associated with mobile unit 12.

Interactive voice response (IVR) unit 29 comprises suitable software and hardware components that interact with processor 38 to execute voice recognition software 68. In one embodiment, an operator of mobile unit 12 may activate IVR unit 29 to navigate through multiple levels of menu options associated with menu structures 84 using voice recognition techniques. In this embodiment, the operator issues verbal commands to scroll through and select particular menu options. For example, an operator of mobile unit 12 may issue a verbal command to select a particular enhanced service offered by a service center, to place a traditional cellular services call, to monitor/control a component of mobile unit 12, or generally to perform any other feature or function of mobile unit 12, using voice recognition techniques.

Computing device 30 comprises a hand-held or laptop computer, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a personal information manager (PIM), or any other portable computing device. Device 30 exchanges information with the various components of mobile unit 12. In particular, device 30 interfaces with processor 38 using bus 32 and appropriate interfacing software to download and upload data regarding user interface 22, platform 24, sensors 26, actuators 28, or any other component of mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, device 30 uses a network interface 94 to maintain an external link 96 that provides communication capabilities between mobile unit 12 and a global computer network 98, such as the Internet, that can be accessed independently from the voice network. Network interface 94 comprises a modem, a remote access device, or any other suitable collection of hardware and/or software to provide communication capability between device 30 and network 98. By interfacing computing device 30 with processor 38, mobile unit 12 facilitates an exchange of information with an external and portable source.

Communication bus 32 may be a wireline network, a wireless network, or a combination of wireline and wireless networks that couple the various components of mobile units 12. In one embodiment, bus 32 may comprise a local area network (LAN).

Mobile units 12 couple to NSC 14 using voice network 18. Voice network 18 comprises cell transmitter sites 100, mobile switching centers (MSCs) 102, and the various components of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) 104. Voice network 18 may also include any other suitable land-based or satellite-based transmitting and receiving components. Voice network 18 generally comprises any suitable number and collection of telecommunication hardware and associated software that provides a voice path between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14. In one embodiment, voice network 18 comprises a first voice network 106 that supports traditional voice services, such as, for example, sending and receiving voice calls, and a second voice network 108 that supports enhanced services provided by service centers 16. Networks 106 and 108 are depicted as separate components in FIG. 1 for convenience and illustrative purposes only, and it should be understood that the present invention contemplates networks 106 and 108 as the same or different networks.

Voice paths 110 couple voice network 18 to NSC 14. Voice paths 110 may be individual lines, multiple lines, trunks, multiple trunks, or any other suitable collection of lines, trunks, and/or other suitable paths to support one or more voice paths. In one embodiment, incoming voice path 112 establishes voice communication between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14, and outgoing voice path 114 establishes communication between NSC 14 and service center 16. For example, NSC 14 may couple to service center 16 using a voice path that includes outgoing voice path 114, PSTN 104, and voice path 116. Although FIG. 1 illustrates NSC 14 coupled to a service center 16 using PSTN 104 and voice paths 114 and 116, it should be understood that NSC 14 may couple to service centers 16 using a dedicated voice path separate from PSTN 104. In a particular embodiment, NSC 14 may also couple to service center 16 using a data path that includes data path 118, data network 20, and data path 120.

NSC 14 comprises a communication server, an access server, a data server, a telephony server, and/or any other suitable server environment that maintains a database 122 and facilitates communication with mobile unit 12 and service centers 16. Database 122 contains geographical information such as maps and geographical coordinates; information on customer profiles, mobile units 12, service centers 16, and pending messages to be communicated between mobile units 12 and service centers 16; and any other information suitable for use in communication system 10. The contents of database 122 are described in more detail below with reference to FIGS. 4-10. Furthermore, NSC 14 may locally perform some or all of the functions normally performed by service center 16 using an interactive voice response unit.

Data network 20 may include hardware and software to establish a dedicated data path between NSC 14 and service center 16, using frame relay, X.25, TCP/IP, or any other suitable dedicated communication protocol. Alternatively, data network 20 may include hardware and software to implement a non-dedicated, switched, or dial-up data path between NSC 14 and service center 16. Data network 20 and data paths 118 and 120 may be wireline, wireless, or a combination of wireline and wireless technologies. For example, data network 20 may comprise a portion of PSTN 104 that establishes a dial-up modem connection that is separate from voice path 114. In a particular embodiment, the data path established by data network 20 and data paths 118 and 120 provide a sufficiently small transmission time to enable data associated with the communication session to arrive at service center 16 simultaneously or in advance of the call over the voice path established by PSTN 104 and voice paths 114 and 116.

Although networks 20 and 98 are illustrated separately, it should be understood that networks 20 and 98 may comprise the same or different networks. Furthermore, voice network 18, data network 20, and global computer network 98 may be referred to collectively or individually as a communication network.

Service centers 16 comprise communication servers, access servers, data servers, telephony servers, and/or any other suitable server environments associated with organizations, personnel, businesses, or any other suitable provider of enhanced services. Service centers 16 include the appropriate hardware and software to conduct communication sessions with mobile unit 12, and to provide a variety of voice/data services to mobile unit 12. The communication sessions may comprise voice sessions using voice network 18, data sessions using voice network 18, or both. Generally, services offered by service centers 16 include emergency services, roadside assistance, and a variety of information services. In one embodiment, service centers 16 are coupled to global computer network 98 using link 124. In this embodiment, the communication session may comprise a communication session using network 98.

In operation, user interface 22 and platform 24 of mobile unit 12 enable a variety of features and functions available to mobile unit 12. In general, user interface 22 and platform 24 enable local access to platform 24, sensors 26, actuators 28, computing devices 30, and any other component of mobile unit 12. User interface 22 and platform 24 further enable remote access to service centers 16 via NSC 14 using network 18 and, optionally, networks 20 or 98.

An operator of mobile unit 12 may navigate through multiple levels of menu options associated with menu structures 84 using interface 22 to access various components of mobile unit 12. In particular, an operator of mobile unit 12 may monitor, control, configure, or activate any of the components of platform 24, sensors 26, actuators 28, or any other component of mobile unit 12, using interface 22. For example, user interface 22 and platform 24 facilitate local operations, such as monitoring on-board diagnostics of mobile unit 12, enabling/disabling a security mode associated with vehicle 25, and enabling/disabling autonomous registration by cellular transceiver 42.

User interface 22 and platform 24 also facilitate remote operations, such as placing and receiving traditional cellular calls and/or enhanced services calls. In one example, mobile unit 12 generates a request for services that is transmitted to NSC 14 in a voice call, and routed to an appropriate service center 16 to establish a communication session. In another example, user interface 22 and platform 24 establish a communication session with service centers 16 using computing device 30 and global computing network 98. Mobile unit 12, NSC 14, and service centers 16 may transfer data during these communication sessions. The transfer of data may include downloading to mobile unit 12 configuration data 80, menu data specifying menu structures 84 and/or menu options, directions, or any other requested data. The transfer of data may also include uploading to NSC 14 and/or service centers 16 data logs 82, menu structures 84, or any other data generated at mobile unit 12.

In one operation, user interface 22 and platform 24 enable an operator of mobile unit 12 to perform diagnostic tests on sensors 26, actuators 28, computing devices 30, bus 32, or any other suitable component of mobile unit 12. In particular, the operator may navigate through various menu structures 84 and select a menu option associated with performing diagnostic tests, using interface 22. Processor 38 executes the diagnostic tests on the selected components and generates diagnostic results that may be stored in memory 40 and/or presented to the operator using interface 22. In response to the diagnostic results, the operator may reconfigure specifications, perform maintenance, or, in some other way operate on the components of mobile unit 12.

In another operation, an operator of mobile unit 12 may enable and disable a security mode of vehicle 25 associated with mobile unit 12 using interface 22 and platform 24. In particular, upon detecting that the ignition of vehicle 25 is off, platform 24 requests a personal identification number, a security password, or some other security code from the operator of mobile unit 12, using interface 22. The next time the operator attempts to turn on the ignition of vehicle 25, mobile unit 12 requests input of the same security code. In one embodiment, the operator may not turn on the ignition until entering the proper security code. In another embodiment the operator may turn on the ignition but mobile unit 12 places an emergency services service message 58 unless the operator enters the proper security code. In this embodiment, mobile unit 12 automatically alerts the proper authorities and provides a location update and tracking information to aid in vehicle recovery.

In yet another operation, platform 24 disables autonomous registration by cellular transceiver 42 to ensure that all NAMs are registered in the current cellular system. In a particular embodiment, mobile unit 12 resides in an area serviced by an A side and a B side cellular system. In this embodiment, if mobile unit 12 is powering up for any reason other than the receipt of a page, platform 24 disables autonomous registration for all Number Assignment Modules (NAMs), and commands transceiver 42 to scan for the strongest signal channel on both the A side and B side cellular systems. When transceiver 42 has reported the signal channel information as requested, platform 24 determines which cellular system to operate on, and re-enables autonomous registration for the NAMs which are defined to support autonomous registration. In a particular embodiment, platform 24 re-enables autonomous registration for personal services NAM 86, while leaving it disabled for enhanced services NAM 88.

In addition, platform 24 and transceiver 42 detect vehicle 25 entering a new cellular system. If the cellular system has changed since the last known system, transceiver 42 autonomously registers all NAMs that have autonomous registration enabled. Platform 24 commands transceiver 42 to register those NAMs that have autonomous registration disabled. In this manner, mobile unit 12 ensures that all of the NAMs are registered in the correct system.

In another operation, mobile unit 12 generates a request for service in response to user interaction or an automatically triggered event. This request for service may be in the form of a service message 58 transmitted in a voice call placed by mobile unit 12 to NSC 14 using voice network 18. In particular, processor 38 of platform 24 generates service message 58 in response to the activation of one or more buttons 36, the activation of a sensor 26, verbal commands detected by voice recognition software 68 during communication with IVR unit 29, or any other suitable input event detected by processor 38. Service message 58 generally identifies mobile unit 12, the class of services requested, the location of mobile unit 12, the priority level of message 58, and any other information that may be used by NSC 14 to route the call from mobile unit 12 to the appropriate service center 16.

In one embodiment, processor 38 determines the priority level of message 58 based upon the nature of the input event. For example, a service message 58 generated in response to the activation of a button 36 may receive a standard priority level, or a non-priority status. Similarly, a service message 58 generated in response to the activation of a sensor 26 that detects non-emergency service needs may also receive a standard priority level, or a non-priority status. A service message 58 generated in response to the activation of a sensor 26 that detects an emergency situation, such as, for example, a car crash, receives an emergency priority level, or a priority status. A service message 58 having an emergency priority level may receive expedited service from NSC 14 and service centers 16. Furthermore, processor 38 may upgrade a service message 58 having a standard priority level to an emergency priority level where an emergency situation results after the original service message 58 was generated and/or communicated.

NSC 14 receives service message 58 and accesses information maintained in database 122 to determine the appropriate service center 16 to satisfy the request. In particular, NSC 14 parses service message 58 to identify and locate mobile unit 12, to determine the class of services requested by mobile unit 12, to determine the priority level of service message 58, and to identify any other pertinent data. Together with information retrieved from database 122, such as profile information regarding mobile unit 12 and its operator, and information retrieved from service message 58, NSC 14 determines the appropriate service center 16 with which to establish a communication session. For example, if service message 58 indicates a request for roadside assistance, then based on information specific to mobile unit 12, such as the position and vehicle type of mobile unit 12, NSC 14 accesses database 122 to determine the appropriate service center 16 to satisfy the request. Alternatively, an interactive voice response unit at NSC 14 may conduct a communication session with the operator of mobile unit 12 to request and receive a selection of one or more particular service centers 16.

NSC 14 then establishes a voice path (e.g. by initiating a voice call) with the selected service center 16 using PSTN 104 and voice paths 114 and 116 or, optionally, using a dedicated voice path separate from PSTN 104. In one embodiment, NSC 14 also communicates a data message to service center 16 using data network 20 and data paths 118 and 120. In another embodiment, NSC 14 communicates a data message to service center 16 using PSTN 104, and voice paths 114 and 116 using modems, DTMF techniques, and/or out-of-band signaling. For example, NSC 14 may forward to service center 16 a data message containing the history and specifications of mobile unit 12, the medical history of the occupants of mobile unit 12, the information provided by service message 58, and any other suitable information. Both the voice call and the data message from NSC 14 to service center 16 may include an identifier of mobile unit 12.

Service center 16 receives the voice call and the data message communicated by NSC 14. Upon establishing voice communication with service center 16, NSC 14 bridges or connects the original inbound call from mobile unit 12 with the outbound call to service center 16 to establish a voice path between mobile unit 12 and service center 16. Service center 16 may now conduct a communication session with mobile unit 12 to provide enhanced services using voice network 18. The communication session may include bidirectional voice and/or data communication between mobile unit 12, NSC 14, and service center 16.

In one embodiment, service center 16 toggles between conducting a voice session with mobile unit 12 on network 18 and conducting a data session with mobile unit 12 on network 18 to satisfy the request issued in service message 58. For example, a customer representative, an interactive voice response unit, or a combination of both, may conduct an interactive voice session with the operator of mobile unit 12 using voice network 18 to solicit selections of particular enhanced services offered by service center 16 and/or to provide the requested services to mobile unit 12. Before or after the voice session, service center 16 may conduct a data session with mobile unit 12 using DTMF techniques, in-band signaling, and/or out-of-band signaling with voice network 18 to download or upload data to satisfy the request for enhanced services. For example, in response to service message 58, service center 16 may download to mobile unit 12 directions, configuration data 80, menu data specifying menu structures 84 and/or menu options, e-mail or voicemail messages, or any other suitable data to satisfy the request. In another example, NSC 14 and/or service center 16 may use network 18 to upload data generated by platform 24, such as configuration data 80, data logs 82, and menu structures 84.

NSC 14 may monitor the communication session between mobile unit 12 and service center 16 for billing purposes. For example, NSC 14 determines the appropriate billing for a particular communication session based upon the identity of mobile unit 12, the particular service center 16 providing services, the particular services offered by that service center 16, the duration of the communication session, and any other factor suitable for billing purposes.

In another operation, service centers 16 may broadcast a data message to a number of mobile units 12 irrespective of a current communication session with mobile units 12. In particular, service center 16 may initiate the transfer of data by forwarding to NSC 14 a data message having identifiers specifying one or more mobile units and a data field. The data field may include information such as menu structures 84 and associated menu options, e-mail, voicemail, or any other suitable data. Each time a mobile unit 12 establishes a connection with NSC 14, NSC 14 determines whether it is specified by the data message. In one embodiment, NSC 14 determines whether the identifier stored in the data message substantially matches an identifier of the mobile unit 12 connecting with NSC 14. NSC 14 transfers the data message to the mobile unit 12 using voice network 18 if it is specified by the data message. For example, if service center 16 establishes new or updated menu options to provide enhanced services, service center 16 transfers menu data specifying menu structures 84 or the menu options to NSC 14. The next time a specified mobile unit 12 establishes a connection with NSC 14, NSC 14 transfers the menu options to memory 40 of mobile unit 12.

In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 establishes a connection with NSC 14 each time the ignition of a vehicle associated with mobile unit 12 is turned on, upon the detection of appropriate sensors 26, at predetermined intervals, or at any other suitable intervals. In this way, service center 16 may broadcast to a number of mobile units 12 updated news reports, weather reports, traffic reports, sports reports, financial reports, or any other information at suitable intervals without establishing a communication session with each mobile unit 12.

In yet another operation, user interface 22 and platform 24 enable access to a global computing network 98, such as the Internet, using computing device 30, interface 94, and link 96, to request and receive enhanced services from service centers 16. In particular, an operator of mobile unit 12 may establish a communication session directly with a particular service provider 16, such as an Internet website, using an on-line or off-line browser, an interface, or any other suitable software application running on computing device 30. Mobile unit 12 and service centers 16 may then transfer data using network 98. The transfer of data may include directions, configuration data 80, menu data specifying menu structures 84 and/or menu options, e-mail or voicemail messages, and any other suitable data. Furthermore, an operator of mobile unit 12 may access a particular service center 16 using network 98 and then initiate the establishment of a communication session from service center 16 to mobile unit 12 over voice network 18. In this embodiment, mobile unit 12 and service center 16 may transfer data using global computing network 98 and/or voice network 18.

FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of user interface 22 that includes display 34, buttons 36, microphones 200, and speakers 202 coupled to platform interface module 204. Microphones 200 comprise any low or high fidelity microphone that is, in one embodiment, suitable for use with IVR unit 29, voice recognition software 68, and speech synthesis software 74. Speakers 202 comprise any speakers suitable for use with mobile unit 12. Speakers 202 are capable of producing enough volume for the audio signals to be heard in either an automotive or heavy duty trucking environment.

Platform interface module 204 comprises any suitable software and hardware components that facilitates communication between the various components of user interface 22 and the various components of platform 24, such as processor 38 and memory 40, so that interface 22 and platform 24 can share resources. Although FIG. 2 illustrates user interface 22 coupled to processor 38 and memory 40 of platform 24 by interface module 204, it should be understood that user interface 22 may include a dedicated processor that manages the communicating, processing, and interfacing features of user interface 22, and a dedicated memory that stores programs, databases, and other information used by the processor to perform its functions. Furthermore, although FIG. 2 illustrates user interface 22 as a component of a rearview mirror of a vehicle 25 associated with mobile unit 12, it should be understood that user interface 22 may be a component of a dashboard, a visor, a steering wheel, a display panel, or any other suitable portion of a vehicle 25 that is accessible by the operator of mobile unit 12.

Display 34 comprises a liquid crystal display (LCD), a field emission display (FED), or any other suitable display technology capable of displaying text and graphics. In one embodiment, display 34 is presented through the glass of a rearview mirror of vehicle 25. In particular, display 34 is positioned substantially in the plane of the mirrored surface. Buttons 36 include menu selection buttons 206, 208, 210, phone button 212, emergency assistance button 214, roadside assistance button 216, information services button 218, audio recorder buttons 220, 222, and 224, and any other appropriate buttons that control the functionality of user interface 22. In one embodiment, buttons 36 are strategically placed about the perimeter of a rearview mirror of vehicle 25, or at any position easily accessible by the operator of mobile unit 12.

Menu selection buttons 206-210 allow the operator of mobile unit 12 to navigate through a multiple levels of menu options associated with menu structures 84 stored in memory 40 and presented by processor 38 on display 34. Menu structures 84 comprise a hierarchical arrangement of menu options that enable access to information, traditional cellular services, or enhanced services. The operator of mobile unit 12 may scroll through a present level of menu options using scroll button 206, drill down into more detailed levels of menu options using select button 208, or back up to more general levels of menu options using back button 210.

For example, an operator of mobile unit 12 may use button 206 to scroll through menu options associated with entertainment services, such as available restaurants, concerts, bars, and sports events. The operator may use select button 208 to drill down into a particular type of entertainment services, such as restaurants. Again, the operator may scroll through a list of restaurants until locating a desired restaurant. The operator may then place a traditional cellular services voice call to the restaurant using handset 92, voice recognition software 68, or phone button 212, and NAM 86. Alternatively, the operator may place an enhanced services call to the restaurant using information services button 218 and enhanced services NAM 88. Having established a communication session with the selected restaurant, the operator may download direction, menu items and prices, hours of operation, or any other suitable data from the restaurant.

Phone button 212 comprises a multi-mode button that facilitates placing and receiving voice calls using traditional cellular services NAM 86 and navigating through and selecting particular menu options of menu structures 84, using voice recognition techniques. In a first mode, phone button 212 places and receives traditional voice calls. In particular, an operator of mobile unit 12 may navigate through a phone directory using display 34 and buttons 36 and place an outgoing call using traditional cellular services NAM 86 by activating phone button 212 or handset 92 while a selected phone number is highlighted, underlined, or otherwise specified on display 34. An operator of mobile unit 12 may also answer an incoming voice call by activating phone button 212.

In a second mode, activating phone button 212 causes processor 38 to activate IVR unit 29 and execute voice recognition software 68 stored in memory 40. Activating IVR unit 29 and executing voice recognition software 68 allows processor 38 to place and receive traditional voice calls and to perform any of the features and functions of mobile unit 12 using voice recognition techniques. In particular, an operator of mobile unit 12 may navigate through and select particular menu options of menu structures 84 by issuing verbal commands rather than by activating service buttons 36. For example, an operator of mobile unit 12 may issue a verbal command to select a telephone directory menu option from menu structures 84. The operator may further issue a verbal command to scroll through a telephone directory and dial a particular telephone number associated with a person, a business, or any other entity having a telephone number stored in memory 40. In another example, an operator of mobile unit 12 may issue a verbal command to select a particular enhanced service offered by a service center 16, to monitor and control a particular sensor 26, to activate a particular actuator 28, or generally to perform any other feature or function offered by mobile unit 12, using voice recognition techniques.

Emergency assistance button 214 facilitates requesting enhanced services from service centers 16, such as police departments, fire departments, hospitals, or any other organization or personnel that provides emergency services to persons or vehicles associated with mobile unit 12. For example, activating emergency assistance button 214 automatically alerts the proper authorities in the event of a vehicle theft, and provides a location update and tracking information to aid in vehicle recovery.

In another example, activating emergency assistance button 214 summons medical personnel in the event of a medical emergency, and provides to the appropriate service center 16 relevant medical information about the operator of mobile unit 12. In this regard, mobile unit 12 generates and issues a service message 58 to NSC 14. NSC 14 uses service message 58 to access database 122 and to select an appropriate service center 16 based upon, in one embodiment, the location of mobile unit 12. NSC 14 then provides to the selected service center 16 information such as location, engine data, personal medical data, or any other suitable information on the status or condition of mobile unit 12, or its operator. Service center 16 then establishes a communication session with mobile unit 12 so that it may deliver audible messages or perform other voice communications using voice network 18, to provide emergency and security services to persons or vehicles associated with mobile unit 12. Service center 16 may also provide data services such as remote security services using actuators 28 coupled to mobile unit 12. For example, service center 16 may issue commands to immobilize a vehicle, sound an alarm, lock/unlock doors, or perform any function remotely using an appropriate actuator 28 coupled to mobile unit 12.

Roadside assistance button 216 facilitates requesting enhanced services from service centers 16, such as towing companies, taxi/shuttle services, car dealerships, gas stations, or any other organization or personnel that provides roadside assistance to persons or vehicles associated with mobile unit 12. For example, NSC 14 may select an appropriate service center 16 based upon, in one embodiment, the location of mobile unit 12, in response to the activation of roadside assistance button 216. NSC 14 then provides to the appropriate service center 16 a precise vehicle location and previous travel direction of mobile unit 12, as well as the color, make, model, and license number of the vehicle associated with mobile unit 12. Service center 16 may then effectively dispatch personnel to assist the operator of mobile unit 12. In dispatching a variety of services, service center 16 may send a confirmation to mobile unit 12 and a time of arrival estimate. Furthermore, multiple service centers 16 may coordinate efforts to provide enhanced services to the operator of mobile unit 12. For example, a towing company may dispatch a tow truck to the site of an accident while a taxi/shuttle service may simultaneously dispatch a vehicle to transport the operator of mobile unit 12 to a desired destination.

Information services button 218 facilitates requesting enhanced services from service centers 16, such as news agencies, weather bureaus, entertainment services, travel services, traffic reporters, financial institutions, or any other organization or personnel that provides information services to persons or vehicles associated with mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, an operator of mobile unit 12 activates information services button 218 to select a particular menu option from menu structures 84 presented by processor 38 on display 34.

For example, display 34 presents high-level menu options that provide a general services menu including news, weather, business, travel, traffic, sports, or any other general information service. The operator drills down into more detailed menu levels associated with a particular class of service, such as, for example, travel services. In response, display 34 presents more detailed menu options that include, for example, airlines, railroads, buses, cruises, or any other particular mode of travel. The operator again drills down into more detailed menu levels associated with a particular mode of travel, such as air travel. In response, display 34 presents even more detailed menu options that includes, for example, American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, United Airlines, and any other suitable airline service. The operator then initiates a communication session with a particular airline service by activating information services button 218 while the appropriate service center 16 is highlighted, underlined, or otherwise specified on display 34. Therefore, the operator may use menu selection buttons 206-210 to navigate through multiple levels of menu options associated with a particular class of services and then select one or more service centers 16 using information services button 218.

In another embodiment, the operator of mobile unit 12 activates information services button 218 to initiate an interactive voice session with NSC 14, discussed in more detail in FIG. 4, using voice recognition techniques. In particular, processor 38 establishes a connection with an interactive voice response (IVR) unit associated with NSC 14 in response to the activation of information services button 218. This IVR unit interacts with the operator of mobile unit 12 using voice recognition techniques to present verbal menu options that may or may not also be presented by display 34. The operator of mobile unit 12 selects an appropriate service center 16 by issuing verbal commands into microphone 200. The IVR unit then establishes a communication session between mobile unit 12 and the selected service center 16. By communicating with an interactive voice response unit associated with NSC 14, mobile unit 12 provides access to many service centers 16 whose menu structures 84 may not yet be stored by memory 40 and presented by display 34.

The selected service center 16 may present additional enhanced services options to the operator of mobile unit 12 in a number of ways. First, it may download menu data specifying new or updated menu options and/or menu structures 84 to processor 38 so that the operator of mobile unit 12 may select particular enhanced services using information services button 218. Second, an IVR unit associated with service center 16, discussed in detail in FIG. 5, may interact with the operator of mobile unit 12 using voice recognition techniques to provide enhanced services. Third, a live agent or customer representative of service center 16 may provide enhanced services to the operator of mobile unit 12.

Audio recorder buttons 220-224 facilitate recording, playing, and deleting audio recordings 72 downloaded from any internal or external source, such as, for example, service centers 16, and stored in memory 40. For example, an operator of mobile unit 12 may navigate through multiple levels of menu options to select a particular service center 16 that provides direction services, such as, in one embodiment, step-by-step directions from an origination location to a destination location. Processor 38 initiates a communication session between mobile unit 12 and the selected service center 16. Mobile unit 12 provides location information, such as origination location and destination location information, to service center 16.

In general, the origination location comprises any location from which the directions will originate. In one embodiment, the origination location of mobile unit 12 is the current location of mobile unit 12, and may be represented as “from” geographical coordinates. In this embodiment, GPS device 48 of mobile unit 12 may use positioning techniques to automatically generate “from” coordinates associated with a particular location of mobile unit 12. The destination location comprises the location at which the directions will terminate. The destination location may be represented by “to” geographical coordinates. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 specifies the termination of the directions by a name associated with the destination location, (e.g., restaurant name, street address, landmarks, etc.). The destination location may comprise the location of service center 16.

Service center 16 then downloads directions from the origination location to the selected destination location, taking into account traffic conditions, weather conditions, available gas and lodging facilities, and/or any other suitable factors. It should be understood that one or a combination of an agent or customer representative, an interactive voice response unit, and/or a processor at service center 16 may communicate the directions to mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, service center 16 downloads to audio recorder 70 different segments of the directions separated by suitable separator signals. The directions may comprise a series of commands, geographical coordinates, regions, zones, or any other suitable indicators of location that define a particular path or route of travel. Some coordinates, such as notification coordinates, indicate a near proximity to an upcoming driving event, such as a turn or exit. Other coordinates, such as realization coordinates, indicate a successfully completed command.

For example, notification coordinates may define a notification region, zone, geographical coordinate, or any other suitable location in proximity to the location of the next step of the directions. In one embodiment, if the location of mobile unit 12 substantially corresponds with the notification region defined by the notification coordinates, then the operator of mobile unit 12 is alerted of an upcoming direction command. Similarly, realization coordinates may define a realization region, zone, geographical coordinate, or any other suitable location in proximity to the location of the previous step of the directions. In one embodiment, if the location of mobile unit 12 substantially corresponds with the realization region defined by the realization coordinates, then the previous direction command was successfully executed. In one embodiment, each segment of the directions comprises direction commands, notification regions associated with the direction commands, and/or realization regions associated with the direction commands.

The directions communicated over voice network 18 may be separated using dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signals or other appropriate separator signals. Processor 38 and audio recorder 70 recognize the separator signals and record different segments of the directions separately so that each segment may be played back in succession at the appropriate time and location. In another embodiment, service center 16 downloads to audio recorder 70 textual directions in a data file. In this embodiment, the textual directions may also be separated into segments by separator signals or codes, such as, for example, text delimiters. Processor 38 and audio recorder 70 use speech synthesis software 74 to access speech synthesis database 76 and translate the textual directions into audio voice signals for playback using speakers 202. In yet another embodiment, service center 16 downloads to audio recorder 70 directions as audio voice signals in a data file for playback using speakers 202. The audio voice signals may also be separated into segments by separator signals or codes.

Once the directions are downloaded, an operator of mobile unit 12 may manually play back separate segments of audio recordings 72 by activating play button 220. For example, the operator may play back one segment of the directions, stop audio recorder 70, wait a period of time, and then again play back another segment of the directions. The operator of mobile unit 12 may also record over or delete audio recordings 72 by activating buttons 222 and/or 224, respectively. In one embodiment, processor 38 automatically plays back audio recordings 72 stored in memory 40. In this embodiment, processor 38 communicates with GPS device 48 to receive the current location of mobile unit 12. Processor 38 plays the current segment of audio recording 72 when it detects that the current location of mobile unit 12 substantially corresponds with a region, zone, geographical coordinate, or some other indicator of location defined by the notification coordinates downloaded from service center 16. For example, a notification region defined by the notification coordinates may be established one hundred feet in advance of the location of the next driving event, such as a turn or an exit. Upon entering the notification region, mobile unit 12 issues the next direction command to alert the operator of the upcoming driving event.

Processor 38 determines whether the played back segment of the directions was successfully executed by comparing the location of mobile unit 12 with the realization coordinates downloaded from service center 16. If the location of mobile unit 12 substantially corresponds with the region, zone, geographical coordinate, or some other indicator of location defined by the realization coordinates, then the segment of directions was successfully completed. For example, a realization region defined by the realization coordinates may be established some distance beyond the location of the previous driving event. If mobile unit 12 fails to enter the realization region a suitable period of time after the previous direction commend was issued, then mobile unit 12 alerts the driver of the unsuccessful execution of the previous direction command. If the played back segment of the directions was successfully executed, processor 38 again communicates with GPS device 48 to determine the proper time and location to play back the next segment of the directions. If the played back segment of the directions was incorrectly executed, processor 38 may issue a verbal or textual error message to the operator of mobile unit 12, and replay the segment of the directions that was incorrectly executed.

Although the previous description of audio recorder 70 and buttons 220-224 was detailed with respect to downloading, recording, playing, and deleting directions, it should be understood that mobile unit 12 may perform these techniques using voicemails, e-mails, or any other suitable communication from service center 16, the operator of mobile unit 12, or any other appropriate source. In particular, processor 38 may execute speech synthesis software 74 to translate e-mails into verbal communication and play back the e-mails using speakers 202. Furthermore, an operator of mobile unit 12 may activate button 220 to play back voicemails stored in memory 40 as audio recordings 72. Moreover, the operator of mobile unit 12 may use audio recorder 70 as a dictaphone to record, play back, and delete voice messages.

FIG. 3 illustrates a number of different audio modes 62 used by communication system 10. In general, audio modes 62 a-62 s, referred to generally as audio modes 62, define various audio states used by mobile unit 12 to perform its unique audio functions. Although FIG. 3 illustrates only audio modes 62 a-62 s, it should be understood that communication system 10 contemplates any number and/or combination of audio modes 62 to perform the unique audio functions of the present invention.

Idle audio modes 62 a-62 c define the audio states of mobile unit 12 when transceiver 42 is idle. Idle audio modes include play mode 62 a, record mode 62 b, and voice recognition mode 62 c. Play mode 62 a defines the default audio mode of mobile unit 12. Mobile unit 12 enters this mode upon power up or upon exiting any other audio mode 62. Play mode 62 a is used to play back messages using audio recorder 70 when a voice call is not currently in progress. Record mode 62 b defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to record voice communications using microphone 200 and audio recorder 70. Mobile unit 12 enters record mode 62 b upon detecting the activation of record button 222 of user interface 22. Voice recognition mode 62 c defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to control the features and functions of mobile unit 12 using voice recognition techniques. Mobile unit 12 enters voice recognition mode 62 c upon detecting the activation of phone button 212 of user interface 22.

Call setup mode 62 d defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used during an incoming or outgoing voice call using enhanced services NAM 88. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters call setup mode 62 d during voice communications between modem 44 of mobile unit 12 and modem 304 of NSC 14 using voice network 18. Audio test call setup mode 62 e defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to perform an audio test that verifies proper communication between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 during incoming or outgoing voice calls between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters audio mode 62 e when audio interface 50 of mobile unit 12 executes the audio test. In this embodiment, audio interface 50 and speakers 202 sound DTMF tones generated by modems 44 and 304 during the communication between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14. In this mode, a technician may verify proper communication between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 by monitoring the DTMF tones generated by modems 44 and 304. Mobile unit 12 may toggle between modes 62 d and 62 e by manipulating a flag associated with configuration data 80.

Ring mode 62 f defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to alert an operator of mobile unit 12 of an incoming call. Mobile unit 12 enters ring mode 62 f upon receiving an incoming call after mobile unit 12 switches from data mode to voice mode. For example, in one embodiment, calls communicated to mobile unit 12 from NSC 14 may begin in a data mode. After the data is exchanged between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14, NSC 14 may command mobile unit 12 to switch to a voice mode, while NSC 14 bridges the voice call using voice network 18. Upon receiving the voice call, mobile unit 12 enters ring mode 62 f to alert the operator of mobile unit 12 of the incoming call.

Audio test ring mode 62 g defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to perform an audio test that verifies proper communication of the voice call from NSC 14 to mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters audio test ring mode 62 g upon receiving an incoming call in a voice mode. While in audio test ring mode 62 g, audio interface 50 and speakers 202 communicate the DTMF tones generated by modem 44 of mobile unit 12 and modem 304 of NSC 14. Mobile unit 12 may toggle between modes 62 f and 62 g by manipulating a flag associated with configuration data 80.

Handsfree voice mode 62 h defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used for all hands free voice communications. Mobile unit 12 enters hands free voice mode 62 h upon answering an incoming call from ring mode 62 f, or upon connecting an outgoing voice call to NSC 14 in a voice mode using voice network 18. Handsfree voice DTMF detection mode 62 i defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to reduce or eliminate DTMF tones issued by a service center 16 to control the transfer of data to audio recorder 70. Mobile unit 12 enters handsfree voice DTMF detection mode 62 i upon receipt of any DTMF tones from an external modem. Hands free voice DTMF transmission mode 62 j defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to transmit DTMF tones over voice network 18. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 activates hands free voice DTMF transmission mode 62 j when an operator of mobile unit 12 activates a key of handset 92. For example, if an operator of mobile unit 12 interacts with IVR unit 306 of NSC 14, mobile unit 12 transmits DTMF tones to indicate a keypress by using mode 62 j.

Handsfree voice service center record mode 62 k defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to record only the communications from service center 16 during a communication session. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters mode 62 k to record directions or other commands and/or communications using audio recorder 70. Handsfree voice service center/mobile unit record mode 62 m defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to record both sides of a communication session between mobile unit 12 and service center 16. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters audio mode 62 m when record button 222 of user interface 22 is activated during a handsfree voice call between mobile unit 12 and a service center 16. Handsfree voice mobile unit play mode 62 n defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to play back audio recordings 72 using audio recorder 70 and speakers 202. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters audio mode 62 n when play button 220 is activated during a handsfree voice call. Handsfree voice service center play mode 62 o defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to provide feedback to service provider 16 that a communication was received properly. For example, mobile unit 12 uses audio mode 62 o to signify to service center 16 that the directions were received properly.

Handset voice mode 62 p defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to place a voice call using handset 92. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters handset voice mode 62 p when handset 92 is activated, such as when handset 92 is removed from its associated cradle. Handset DTMF detection mode 62 q defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to reduce or eliminate DTMF tones issued by service center 16 to transfer data to audio recorder 70 of mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters audio mode 62 q upon receipt of any DTMF tones from an external modem.

Handset DTMF transmission mode 62 r defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to transmit DTMF tones over voice network 18. In one embodiment, mobile unit 12 enters audio mode 62 r during a handset voice call where the operator of mobile unit 12 activates a key of handset 92. Handset voice service center/mobile unit record mode 62 s defines an audio mode of mobile unit 12 used to record both sides of a communication session between mobile unit 12 and a service center 16 that transfers data to audio recorder 70. In one embodiment mobile unit 12 enters audio mode 62 s upon detecting the activation of record button 222 of user interface 22 during a handset voice call.

FIG. 4 illustrates in more detail one embodiment of NSC 14. A switch 300 couples to voice network 18 using voice paths 110. Switch 300 includes hardware and associated software to process manipulate, switch, and manage a variety of voice paths 302 in NSC 14. For example, switch 300 may receive inbound calls from voice network 18 or place outbound calls to voice network 18. Also, switch 300 includes automatic number identification (ANI) generation or caller ID techniques that can include an identifier of mobile unit 12 on outbound calls to service center 16. This is an advantageous aspect of the operation of NSC 14 which allows service center 16 to associate the voice component and the data component of a voice/data session. The generation and communication of ANI or caller ID information may be performed by switch 300 using any suitable in-band (e.g., DTMF) or out-of-band (e.g., SS-7) technique. This may be performed by overriding identifiers of NSC 14 or voice path 114 that may normally be associated with the call directed to service center 16.

Switch 300 may also establish voice paths with modems 304 and an interactive voice response (IVR) unit 306. Modems 304 and modem handler 308 allow NSC 14 to establish modem connections for high capacity data communication among mobile units 12, service centers 16, and other external devices accessible through voice network 18. IVR unit 306 provides interactive voice response sessions among components in communication system 10, and may also provide communication between NSC 14, mobile units 12, and service centers 16 using dual tone multi-frequency (DTMF) techniques. In a particular example, switch 300 directs service message 58 received from mobile unit 12 to switch 300 or IVR unit 306 for DTMF decoding. NSC 14 contemplates modems 304, DTMF coders/decoders, or any other suitable coding and/or decoding technique to communicate data using voice paths 302.

A data interface 310 couples to data network 20 using data path 118. Data interface 310 comprises a bridge, router, gateway, adapter card, or any other suitable collection of hardware and/or software to provide data communication capability between NSC 14 and data network 20. In a particular embodiment, data interface 310 supports a variety of dedicated data communication protocols, such as frame relay, X.25, TCP/IP, or other suitable dedicated protocol. Data interface 310 may also support a variety of non-dedicated, switched, or dial-up technology and protocols.

Modem handler 308, switch 300, IVR unit 306, and data interface 310 all couple to data bus 312. A processor 314 also couples to data bus 312 and provides overall management and control of NSC 14. Processor 314 accesses information maintained in database 122 to perform its functions. This information includes a code table 320; profile tables 322, 324, and 326; a service table 328; and message queue 330, which are described in more detail below with reference to FIGS. 6-10. An input/output (I/O) module 332 also couples to data bus 312 and provides external access to the operation and function of NSC 14 using link 334. I/O module 332 and link 334 may be used to externally control or monitor the operation of NSC 14, and may also be used to link and coordinate operation between a number of NSCs 14 in a network configuration.

FIG. 5 illustrates in more detail one embodiment of a service center 16. In this embodiment, service center 16 receives a call or voice component of the communication session at voice module 350 and a message or data component of the communication session at data module 352. Depending on the particular implementation, the number of agent stations served, the capacity and loading characteristics of service center 16, and other considerations, voice module 350 may comprise an automatic call distributor (ACD), a private branch exchange (PBX), a simple call distributor, or other suitable hardware and software to receive and distribute the voice component of the communication session to one of a number of voice instruments 354 in service center 16. Similarly, data module 352 may comprise hardware and software associated with a local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), or other suitable technology that couples the data component of the communication session to one of a number of workstations 356 in service center 16. It should be understood that voice module 350 and data module 352 may be integral or separate components, and may support a variety of telephony/data applications and/or protocols, such as telephone application programming interface (TAPI), telephony server application programming interface (TSAPI), and computer telephony integration (CTI).

An agent or customer representative operates voice instrument 354 and an associated workstation 356 to conduct the communication session with the operator of mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, service center 16 includes a local interactive voice response (IVR) unit 358 that provides menu options to a caller; receives selections from the caller regarding enhanced services provided by service center 16; and facilitates providing the selected services. By using an IVR unit 358, service center 16 may fulfill the service requests of a caller in combination with or independent of a live agent or customer representative.

Service center 16 also includes database 360 which contains information related to the services offered by the particular service center 16. For example, if service center 16 provides direction services, then database 360 may store maps, geographical coordinates, or other geographical information that allows service center 16 to provide directions to the operators of mobile units 12 in both audible and data formats. Similarly, database 360 may store traffic information, weather information, personal medical information, dispatch numbers, emergency personnel locations, or other information that allows service center 16 to dispatch assistance to the operators of mobile units 12.

Service center 16 may further include a global computer network module 362 that provides access to global computer network 98, such as the Internet, using external link 124. Global computer network module 362 comprises a bridge, router, gateway, adapter card, or any other suitable collection of hardware and/or software components that provide data communication capability between service center 16 and global computer network 98. In this embodiment, service centers 16 may provide services offered by network 98 as well as services related to information stored in database 360. For example, service center 16 may access network 98 and/or database 360 to provide directions using geographical, traffic, and/or weather information; monitor current traffic and weather conditions in a particular location; arrange travel reservations; provide financial, news, and sports reports; or provide any other suitable information services.

In operation of FIGS. 4 and 5, switch 300 of NSC 14 receives service message 58 from mobile unit 12 using voice paths 110. Switch 300 then recognizes the communication as a service message and, in a particular embodiment, communicates service message 58 over one of its voice paths 302 to IVR unit 306 for DTMF decoding. Switch 300 may also perform the DTMF decoding or may pass the service message to modems 304 and modem handler 308 for decoding. Decoding of service message 58 by a DTMF decoder in IVR unit 306 or switch 300 may provide better accuracy and reliability in receiving service message 58 from mobile unit 12.

Upon decoding service message 58, modem handler 308, switch 300, or IVR unit 306 passes information contained in service message 58 to processor 314 using data bus 312. Processor 314 then accesses code table 320 and profile tables 322, 324, and 326 to determine the appropriate service center 16 with which to establish a communication session based on the contents of service message 58. Processor 314 also accesses service table 322 to determine the access parameters to establish both voice and data communication with the selected service center 16. Processor 314 may also store data messages received from or to be transmitted to mobile units 12 and/or service centers 16 in message queue 330.

Upon determining service center 16 and the appropriate information to access service center 16, processor 314 directs switch 300 to place an outbound call to service center 16 using voice path 114 and voice network 18. Using either in-band or out-of-band signaling, switch 300 also associates an identifier of mobile unit 12 with the call placed to service center 16. In one embodiment, processor 314 also directs data interface 310 to communicate a data message to service center 16 using data path 118 and data network 20. In this embodiment, both the call placed to service center 16 by switch 300 and the data message communicated to service center 16 by data interface 310 are associated with an identifier of mobile unit 12 to allow service center 16 to associate the voice component and the data component of the communication session.

In one embodiment, service center 16 receives the call at voice module 350 and the data message at data module 352. Voice module 350 transfers or directs the call to a selected voice instrument 354 and communicates associated automatic number identification (ANI) information, caller ID, or other identifier of the mobile unit 12 to an associated workstation 356. Workstation 356 retrieves the data message with the same mobile unit identifier from data module 352. The display in workstation 356 may display map locations, status information, or other information received from NSC 14 or mobile unit 12 itself, such as information from service message 58 about mobile unit 12 and/or its associated operator.

Upon establishing voice communication with service center 16, switch 300 bridges or connects the original inbound call from mobile unit 12 with the outbound call to service center 16 to establish a voice path between mobile unit 12 and service center 16. At any time before, during, or after the communication session, switch 300 may direct the inbound call from mobile unit 12 or the outbound call to service center 16 to modems 304 and modem handler 308 to conduct a high speed data exchange between mobile unit 12, NSC 14, and/or service center 16. Switch 300 may also direct the inbound call from mobile unit 12 or the outbound call to service center 16 to IVR unit 306 to conduct an interactive voice response session with mobile unit 12 and/or service center 16. During modem or IVR communication, mobile unit 12 may provide location and/or status information to be included in a data message for eventual delivery to service center 16. Also, NSC 14 may provide data to mobile unit 12 for software updates, remote commanding (e.g., door unlock, alarm disable, etc.), authorized number programming, feature flag setting, or other functions. Moreover, service center 16 may provide information relating to the emergency service, roadside assistance, or other information services requested by mobile unit 12.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a code table 320 stored in database 122 of NSC 14. Entries in code table 320 associate a call type 400 specified in service message 58 with an indicator 402 of a particular profile table 322, 324, or 326. For example, call types 408 identify different services related to a class of services requested by mobile unit 12, such as a request for emergency assistance from fire departments, police departments, hospitals, and any other suitable organization; roadside assistance from towing services, taxi/shuttle services, car dealerships, and any other suitable organization; information services from news agencies, weather bureaus, financial institutions, travel services, traffic reporters, entertainment services, and any other suitable organization; or any other suitable service and/or class of services provided by service centers 16. Indicators 402 identify those profile tables 322, 324, and 326 that relate information specific to mobile units 12, such as identification and location information, to service centers 16 associated with a particular call type 400.

FIGS. 7A-7C illustrate exemplary embodiments of profile tables 322 a-322 c, generally referred to as profile tables 322, stored in database 122 of NSC 14. Entries in tables 322 relate an identifier 404 of mobile unit 12 and location information 406 associated with mobile unit 12 with an identifier 408 of those service centers 16 that provide emergency services to mobile units 12. In this particular embodiment, identifier 404 of mobile unit 12 may comprise the mobile identification number and/or electronic serial number (MIN/ESN) 410, a vehicle identification number (VIN) 412, or any other suitable information associated with or identifying mobile unit 12.

Location information 406 may comprise city/state information in the United States, Canada, Mexico, or any other suitable country; geographical coordinates (e.g., longitude, latitude, and altitude); or any other appropriate information relating the location of mobile units 12 with particular service centers 16. Identifiers 408 indicate those service centers 16 associated with a particular call type 400. For example, services centers 16 identified in profile tables 322 may comprise police departments, fire departments, hospitals, or any other organization or personnel that provides emergency services to persons or vehicles associated with mobile unit 12. Therefore, in a particular embodiment, a call type 400, an identifier 404 of mobile unit 12, and location information 406 of mobile unit 12, together specify an identifier 408 of the appropriate service center 16 to handle a service request for emergency services.

FIGS. 8A-8C illustrate exemplary embodiments of profile tables 324 a-324 c, generally referred to as profile tables 324, stored in database 122 of NSC 14. Entries in tables 324 relate an identifier 404 of mobile unit 12 and location information 406 associated with mobile unit 12 with an identifier 408 of those service centers 16 that provide roadside assistance to mobile units 12. Service centers 16 identified in profile tables 324 may comprise towing services, taxi/shuttle service, car dealerships, or any other organization or personnel that provides roadside assistance to persons or vehicles associated with mobile unit 12.

FIGS. 9A-9C illustrate exemplary embodiments of profiles tables 326 a-326 c, generally referred to as profile tables 326, stored in database 122 of NSC 14. Entries in tables 326 relate an identifier 404 of mobile unit 12 and location information 406 associated with mobile unit 12 with an identifier 408 of those service centers 16 that provide information services to mobile units 12. Service centers 16 identified in profile tables 324 may comprise news agencies, weather bureaus, financial institutions, travel services, traffic reporters, entertainment services, and any other suitable organization or personnel that provides information services to a person or vehicle associated with mobile unit 12.

In a particular embodiment, as illustrated in FIGS. 7-9, profile tables 322-326 include an entry for each mobile unit 12 serviced by communication system 10. In this embodiment, location information 406 relates each mobile unit 12 with service centers 16 for only those locations at which the mobile unit 12 maintains a subscription with communication system 10. In another embodiment, profile tables 322 relate location information 406 with service centers 16 for each mobile unit 12.

It should be understood that all or a portion of profile tables 322-326 may be stored in one or more locations and the information stored in tables 322-326 may be arranged in any manner in any number of tables to establish the associations described above. It should be further understood that profile tables 322, 324, and 326 include tables for three types of services each for illustrative purposes only, and that the present invention contemplates any number of profile tables to support any number of enhanced services provided by communication system 10. It should be still further understood that although profile tables 322 a-322 c, 324 a-324 c, and 326 a-326 c illustrate three rows of entries each, the present invention contemplates any number of entries to support provisioning enhanced services to any number of operators of mobile units 12. Moreover, although profile tables 322-326 are described with reference to entries 404, 406, and 408, it should be understood that tables 322-326 may include any number of entries that provide information regarding the medical history of the primary operators of mobile unit 12, the service history of mobile unit 12, service preferences of the operators of mobile units 12, or any other information about mobile unit 12, and/or its associated vehicle and operators.

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of service table 328 that associates identifier 408 of service centers 16 with voice access parameters 420 and data access parameters 422 to establish voice communication and, optionally, data communication, respectively, with service centers 16 in communication system 10. Voice access parameters 420 may comprise telephone numbers, telephone extensions, trunk/line identifiers, or any other address or identifier supported by voice network 18. Data access parameters 422 may include LAN or WAN addresses, uniform resource locator (URL) addresses, telephone numbers, transport control protocol or Internet protocol (TCP/IP) addresses, channel groups and channels, virtual port identifiers (VPIs), virtual channel identifiers (VCIs), or any other address or identifier supported by data network 20.

FIG. 11 illustrates a variety of message formats and messaging techniques used in communication system 10. Message queue 330 may store information temporarily or permanently in any of these message formats. A service message 58 incudes a start field (STX) 424 and an end field (ETX) 426. Service message 58 also includes a message type 428 and length 430. NSC 14 uses call type 400, identifier 404, and/or location information 406 provided in service message 58 to determine service center 16 using code table 320 and profile tables 322-326. A data mode 432, which is described below, indicates whether communications between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 should include a data mode (e.g., modems, DTMF, etc.) to exchange information. Data 434 in service message 58 may include a date and time, sensor readings generated or gathered by mobile unit 12, alarm conditions, or any other information communicated from mobile unit 12 to NSC 14. NSC 14 uses a checksum 436 to ensure the integrity and accuracy of service message 58 received from mobile unit 12.

In a particular embodiment, mobile unit 12 communicates service message 58 to NSC 14 using DTMF techniques. Switch 300 or IVR unit 306 decodes service message 58 and passes this information to processor 314. Depending on the value of data mode 432, communication between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 may then progress directly to voice mode 438. However, depending on the requested service, the data required, and other factors, mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 may engage in a data mode 440 before and/or after voice mode 438.

In some circumstances, NSC 14 receives a priority service message 442 during preexisting communication between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14. Since mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 have already established a voice path using voice network 18, priority service message 442 may or may not include identifier 404 of mobile unit 12. Upon receiving priority service message 442, NSC 14 suspends or terminates preexisting communications between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 and establishes a voice and/or data session with an appropriate service center 16 to provide the priority service.

Data message 450 communicated by NSC 14 to service center 16 includes framing data 452 suitable for the communication protocol supported by data network 20. Data message 450 also includes identifier 404 of mobile unit 12 and, optionally, call type 400. Workstation 356 in service center 16 may display graphically or textually data 454 contained in data message 450 as part of the communication session between mobile unit 12 and service center 16. Data 454 may include data 434 of service message 58 as well as data retrieved from memory 122, such as, for example, information found in profile tables 322-326.

FIG. 12A is a flow chart of a method of routing a call from mobile unit 12 to an appropriate service center 16 of communication system 10. The method begins at steps 500 where processor 38 of mobile unit 12 detects an input event, indicated by one of the four paths 502, 504, 506, or 508 in the flow chart of FIG. 12A. Referring to path 502, processor 38 detects the activation of emergency services button 214 or roadside assistance button 216 at step 510. Referring to path 504, processor 38 detects the activation of a sensor 26 at step 512. Referring to path 506, processor 38 executes voice recognition software in response to the activation of phone button 212 at step 514. Processor 38 detects verbal commands to navigate through menu options associated with menu structures 84 at step 516. In particular, the operator of mobile unit 12 navigates through menu options using IVR unit 29 and voice recognition software 68. Processor 38 detects the selection of a particular menu option using voice recognition techniques at step 518. Referring to path 508, processor 38 detects the activation of menu selection buttons at step 520. In particular, the operator of mobile unit 12 navigates through menu options associated with menu structures 84 using menu selection buttons 206-210. Processor 38 detects the activation of information services button 218 specifying a particular menu option at step 522.

In response to the detection of the input event at steps 500, processor 38 generates service message 58 at step 524. In particular, processor 38 may include in message 58 call type 400 identifying the services requested, identifier 404 and location information 406 of mobile unit 12, data mode 432, the priority level of message 58, and any other appropriate information to be used by NSC 14. Processor 38 then transmits service message 58 or priority service message 442 to NSC 14 using enhanced services NAM 88 and voice network 18 at step 526. NSC 14 receives service message 58 or priority service message 442 at step 528.

Depending on the value of data mode 432 of service message 58 at step 530, mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 may perform a security handshake and establish a modem connection at step 532. Upon establishing a secure modem connection, mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 exchange data at step 534. Data sent to NSC 14 may include additional information regarding the status and/or operation of mobile unit 12 or its associated mobile item 25. Data sent to mobile unit 12 may include software updates, remote commands, messages, or other information generated by NSC 14 and/or service centers 16. U.S. Pat. No. 5,398,810, which has been incorporated by reference, describes a particular embodiment of establishing a security handshake and modem connection to exchange data between mobile unit 12 and NSC 14. If mobile unit 12 and NSC 14 do not enter a data mode as determined at step 530 or the exchange of data is complete at step 534, then NSC 14 determines a suitable service center 16 using service message 58 and profile tables 322-326 at steps 536.

In particular, NSC 14 decodes service message 58 at step 538 to determine call type 400, identifier 404 of mobile unit 12, location information 406, and any other pertinent information. In a particular embodiment, switch 300 or IVR unit 306 receives and decodes service message 58 using DTMF techniques for more accurate and reliable reception. Call type 400 may specify a variety of services associated with a particular class of services provided by service centers 16, such as emergency services, roadside assistance, and information services. Identifier 404 of mobile unit 12 may comprise MIN/ESN 410, VIN 412, or any other suitable information associated with or identifying mobile unit 12. Location information 406 may comprise city/state information, current geographical coordinates (e.g., latitude, longitude, altitude), “from” and “to” location information, and any other suitable location information.

Using code table 320 at step 540, NSC 14 determines the proper profile tables 322-326 to select an appropriate service center 16 to satisfy the request. NSC determines the proper service center 16 using the selected profile tables 322-326 and service message 58 at step 542. For example, service message 58 may indicate a mobile unit 12 having a MIN 410 of “099-880-1234” that requests emergency services from a police department, indicated by call type 400, in Plano, Texas, indicated by location information 406. NSC 14 accesses code table 320 to determine that profile table 322 a should be used to select an appropriate service center 16. NSC 14 accesses profile table 322 a to select service center 16 having an identifier 402 of “12” in response to location is information 406 communicated in service message 58. By using information communicated in service message 58, such as MIN/ESN 410, call type 400, and location information 406, to access appropriate profile tables 322-326, NSC 14 may select an appropriate service center 16 to satisfy the request for enhanced services issued by mobile unit 12. Alternatively, IVR unit 306 of NSC 14 interacts with the operator of mobile unit 12 at step 544 to determine a suitable service center 16. For example, IVR unit 306 may detect verbal commands and/or DTMF signals communicated by mobile unit 12 specifying a particular service center 16.

Referring to FIG. 12B, NSC 14 determines access parameters 420 and 422 that correspond to the selected service center 16 using service table 322 at step 546. NSC 14 establishes separate voice and/or data components of the communication session between mobile unit 12 and service center 16 at step 548. The operator at mobile unit 12 and an agent and/or IVR unit 358 at service center 16 conduct a communication session at step 550. In particular, service center 16 provides enhanced services, including voice and/or data services, to satisfy the request issued by mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, service center 16 downloads to mobile unit 12 directions, as described in detail in FIG. 13A. In another embodiment, service center 16 downloads to mobile unit 12 updates to configuration data 80, menu options and/or menu structures 84, and/or any other voice or data communication to satisfy the request. The communication session terminates at step 552.

FIG. 13A is a flow chart of a method of providing directions using communication system 10. The method begins at steps 600 where an operator of mobile unit 12 initiates communication with NSC 14. In particular, processor 38 of mobile unit generates a service message 58 at step 602 in response to a suitable input event, such as the activation of information services button 218 or the selection of a particular menu option using IVR unit 29 and voice recognition software 68. For example, the operator may navigate through multiple levels of menu options presented by display 34 of user interface 22 until display 34 highlights, underlines, or in any other way specifies a menu option that enables the provisioning of directions. The operator may then activate information services button 218 or issue a verbal command specifying the menu option using voice recognition techniques.

Service message 58 includes location information such as the origination location and the destination location for the directions. As described above, the origination location of mobile unit 12 may be the current location of mobile unit 12, or any other location from which the directions will originate. The destination location comprises the location at which the directions will terminate. Service message 58 further includes call type 400 which indicates a request for information services.

Transceiver 42 of mobile unit 12 selects enhanced services NAM 88 at step 604 to establish communications with NSC 14 using voice network 18. Processor 38 communicates service message 58 to NSC 14 at step 606. NSC 14 determines the appropriate service center 16 with which to establish a communication session at step 608 based on information stored in database 122 and information retrieved from service message 58. In particular, NSC 14 uses code table 320 to determine the appropriate profile table 322-326 to access. Upon accessing the appropriate profile table for information services, (e.g., profile table 326), NSC 14 selects an appropriate service center 16 based upon, in one embodiment, location information 406. NSC 14 establishes a communication session between mobile unit 12 and the selected service center 16 at step 610. NSC 14 transmits the origination and destination location information (e.g., “from” and “to” location information) to service center 16 at step 612. In one embodiment, this information may be transmitted using voice paths and DTMF techniques. In another embodiment, this information may be transmitted as a data message using data network 20.

The selected service center 16 determines the directions in response to the origination and destination location information at step 614. In particular, the service center 16 accesses maps, traffic reports, weather reports, and any other suitable information stored in database 360 or retrieved from network 98 to determine the commands, geographical coordinates, or other suitable indicators of location associated with the directions. Service center 16 communicates the directions at steps 616 using one of three different methods illustrated by the three paths 618, 620, and 622 in the flow chart of FIG. 13A.

In one embodiment, service center 16 communicates notification and realization coordinates included in the directions. As described above, the notification coordinates may define a region, zone, geographical coordinate, or any other suitable location in proximity to the location of the next step of the directions. Similarly, realization coordinates may define a region, zone, geographical coordinate, or any other suitable location in proximity to the location of the previous step of the directions.

Referring to path 618, service center 16 communicates one segment of the directions as a voice communication using voice network 28 at step 624. Service center 16 then communicates a separator signal, such as, for example, DTMF signals, at step 626. Referring to FIG. 13B, service center 16 determines whether further segments of the directions need to be communicated at step 628. If further segments need to be communicated from service center 16 to mobile unit 12, then execution returns to step 624. If not, execution proceeds to step 634.

Referring to path 620, service center 16 communicates the directions as text in one or more data files using voice network 18, at step 630. The directions communicated as text may also be separated into different segments by separator signals or codes. In one embodiment, the different segments of the directions are separated by text delimiters. Referring to path 622, service center 16 communicates the directions as audio signals in one or more data files using voice network 18, at step 632. The directions communicated as audio signals may also be separated into different segments by suitable separator signals or codes.

Mobile unit 12 receives the directions communicated by service center 16 at step 634. In particular, processor 38 executes audio recorder 70 to record the directions and store the associated audio recordings 72 in memory 40. Execution terminates at step 636.

FIG. 14 is a flow chart of a method for presenting directions communicated by service center 16 to a mobile unit 12. The method is particularly directed to playing back directions containing segments separated by appropriate separator signals or codes. The method includes a path 700 associated with manual playback of the directions, and a path 702 associated with automatic playback of the directions.

Referring to path 700, an operator of mobile unit 12 may activate play button 220 of user interface 22 at step 704. Processor 38 and audio recorder 70 play back one segment of the previously recorded directions using speakers 202 of interface 22 at step 706. In one embodiment, processor 38 executes speech synthesis software 74 to translate directions communicated as text into verbal directions to be played using speakers 202. Processor 38 determines whether the operator has input any other commands, such as activating any of audio recorder buttons 220-224 and/or issuing any verbal commands to IVR unit 29, at step 708. For example, the operator may stop playing back the directions by again activating play button 220 of user interface 22, or by verbally commanding audio recorder 70 to stop using voice recognition techniques. Processor 38 determines whether audio recorder 70 has played back each segment of the directions at step 710. If not, execution returns to step 704. If so, execution terminates at step 740.

Referring to path 702, processor 38 retrieves the notification coordinates included in the directions at step 720. Processor 38 determines the current location of mobile unit 12 at step 722. In particular, processor 38 communicates with GPS device 48 to determine the current geographical coordinates for mobile unit 12. Processor 38 determines whether to play the current segment of the directions at step 724. In particular, processor 38 determines whether the current location of mobile unit 12 substantially corresponds with a region, zone, geographical coordinate, or any other suitable indicator of location defined by the notification coordinates communicated by service center 16. If not, execution returns to step 722. If so, execution proceeds to step 726 where processor 38 causes audio recorder 70 to play back the current segment of the directions using speakers 202 of user interface 22.

Processor 38 retrieves the realization coordinates communicated by service center 16 at step 728. A pre-determined interval of time after the current segment of the directions is played back, processor 38 again determines the current geographical coordinates of mobile unit 12, at step 730. Processor 38 determines whether mobile unit 12 successfully executed the current segment of the directions at step 732. In particular, processor 38 determines whether the current location of mobile unit 12 substantially corresponds with a region, zone, geographical coordinate, or any other indicator of location defined by the realization coordinates associated with the current segment of the directions. If not, execution proceeds to step 734 where processor 38 may optionally communicate an error message to the operator of mobile unit 12. In one embodiment, processor 38 replays the current segment of the directions at step 734. Execution then returns to step 730. If the current segment was successfully executed, execution proceeds to step 736. At step 736, processor 38 determines whether audio recorder 70 has played back each segment of the directions. If not, execution returns to step 720. If so, execution terminates at step 740.

FIG. 15 is a flow chart of a method for broadcasting a data message from a service provider 16 to a number of mobile units 12 using communication system 10. The method begins at step 800 where service center 16 generates a data message that includes identifiers 404 of a number of specified mobile units 12 and a data field. In particular, workstations 356 access database 360 and/or global computer network 98 to include in the data field updates to menu structures 84 and/or the associated menu options, e-mail messages, voicemail messages, news reports, weather reports, sports reports, traffic reports, financial reports, or any other piece of information.

Service center 16 communicates the data message to NSC 14 at step 802. In one embodiment voice module 350 of service center 16 communicates the data message to modems 304 of NSC 14 using voice paths and DTMF techniques. In another embodiment, data module 352 of service center 16 communicates the data message to data interface 310 of NSC 14 using data network 20 and data paths 118 and 120. NSC 14 stores the data message in message queue 330 at step 804.

A mobile unit 12 establishes communication with NSC 14 at step 806. In one embodiment, mobile units 12 establish a connection with NSC 14 each time the ignition of an associated vehicle 25 is turned on, upon the detection of appropriate sensors 26, at predetermined intervals, or at any other suitable intervals. The communication with NSC 14 is established using enhanced services NAM 88 on voice network 18. Processor 314 of NSC 14 determines whether to download the data message to the mobile unit 12 at step 808. In particular, processor 314 determines whether identifier 404 of mobile unit 12 with which NSC 14 maintains a communication matches identifier 404 of one of the mobile units 12 specified in the data message communicated by service center 16. If not, execution returns to step 806 where another mobile unit 12 establishes communication with NSC 14. If so, execution proceeds to step 810 where NSC 14 communicates the data message to the mobile unit 12 using DTMF techniques and/or out-of-band signaling on voice network 18. Upon receiving the data message, mobile unit 12 may present the information using display 34 of interface 22, store the information at memory 40, or in some other way processes the information. NSC 14 determines whether any further mobile units 12 are specified in the data message to receive the data message communicated by service center 16, at step 812. If so, execution returns to step 806. If not, execution terminates at step 814.

Although the present invention has been described in several embodiments, a myriad of changes, variations, alterations, transformations, and modifications may be suggested to one skilled in the art, and it is intended that the present invention encompass such changes, variations, alterations, transformations, and modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US467765316 Jun 198630 Jun 1987B/W InvestmentsCellular mobile phone with a plurality of accessing telephone numbers for allowing access to the mobile phone by any one of the telephone numbers
US473492818 Mar 198729 Mar 1988B/W InvestmentsCellular mobile phone with a plurality of accessing telephone numbers for allowing access to the mobile phones by any one of the telephones numbers
US474712227 Oct 198624 May 1988Mobile Communications Corporation Of AmericaMobile paging call back system and related method
US483370213 May 198823 May 1989Nec CorporationTelephone registration and cancellation control in a wide area cordless telephone system
US487067617 Oct 198826 Sep 1989Joe LewoVehicle sun visor telephone
US487522911 Jan 198917 Oct 1989Anthony P. PalettVehicle telephone with call answering and recording means
US5001710 *24 Oct 198919 Mar 1991At&T Bell LaboratoriesCustomer programmable automated integrated voice/data technique for communication systems
US502009126 Dec 198928 May 1991Motorola Inc.Automatic new radiotelephone system registration notification
US502526116 Jan 199018 Jun 1991Sharp Kabushiki KaishaMobile object navigation system
US509382721 Sep 19893 Mar 1992At&T Bell LaboratoriesControl architecture of a multi-node circuit- and packet-switching system
US510150026 May 198931 Mar 1992Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaRadio telecommunication apparatus
US511342724 Aug 199012 May 1992Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaRadio-signal-responsive vehicle device control system
US51269418 Feb 199030 Jun 1992Hailemichael GurmuVehicle guidance system
US528937111 Sep 199222 Feb 1994Memorylink, Inc.System and method for routing data and communications
US529719230 Jun 199322 Mar 1994At&T Bell LaboratoriesMethod and apparatus for remotely programming a mobile data telephone set
US529913228 Jul 199229 Mar 1994By-Word Technologies, Inc.Vehicle locating and communicating method and apparatus using cellular telephone network
US5311577 *6 Mar 199210 May 1994International Business Machines CorporationData processing system, method and program for constructing host access tables for integration of telephony data with data processing systems
US532542410 May 199328 Jun 1994Motorola, Inc.Method of automatically establishing a communication path between two devices
US53349746 Feb 19922 Aug 1994Simms James RPersonal security system
US537153423 Jul 19926 Dec 1994At&T Corp.ISDN-based system for making a video call
US53981906 Jan 199414 Mar 1995Hm Holding CorporationVehicle locating and communicating method and apparatus
US542860830 Dec 199327 Jun 1995At&T Corp.Call connection technique
US542866616 Aug 199427 Jun 1995Novatel Communications, Ltd.Automatic number assignment module selection for mobile telephone
US543705328 Jan 199325 Jul 1995Kabushiki Kaisha ToshibaRadio telecommunication apparatus
US54428068 Jun 199315 Aug 1995Oki TelecomPreferred carrier selection method for selecting any available cellular carrier frequency when neither home nor preferred cellular carrier frequencies are available
US5448286 *18 Jan 19945 Sep 1995Matra CommunicationProcess and terminal for video telephony permitting acceptance, and possibly calling, by a telephone set
US5467390 *22 Apr 199414 Nov 1995Bell Atlantic Network Services, Inc.Data transmission via a public switched telephone network
US547948226 Sep 199426 Dec 1995At&T Corp.Cellular terminal for providing public emergency call location information
US550448211 Jun 19932 Apr 1996Rockwell International CorporationAutomobile navigation guidance, control and safety system
US551325130 Dec 199330 Apr 1996At&T Corp.Method for providing call waiting service
US5524146 *28 Feb 19954 Jun 1996Bell Atlantic Network Services, Inc.Automatic access to communication service providers
US553073620 Jul 199425 Jun 1996Bellsouth CorporationRadiotelephone with multiple simultaneous telephone number identities
US5533019 *31 Jan 19942 Jul 1996Motorola, Inc.Packet data in an analog cellular radiotelephone system
US5533108 *18 Mar 19942 Jul 1996At&T Corp.Method and system for routing phone calls based on voice and data transport capability
US5539810 *28 Dec 199323 Jul 1996Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Data messaging in a communications network
US554378924 Jun 19946 Aug 1996Shields Enterprises, Inc.Computerized navigation system
US5544225 *5 Jun 19956 Aug 1996Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Data messaging in a cellular communications network
US555090526 Oct 199427 Aug 1996Lucent Technologies Inc.Method and apparatus for delivering calls and caller identification information to multi-line users
US556587416 Sep 199415 Oct 1996Siemens Automotive CorporationExpandable, multi-level intelligent vehicle highway system
US558392012 Sep 199410 Dec 1996Bell AtlanticIntelligent peripheral in video dial tone network
US560863517 Nov 19944 Mar 1997Zexel CorporationNavigation system for a vehicle with route recalculation between multiple locations
US562566812 Apr 199429 Apr 1997Trimble Navigation LimitedPosition reporting cellular telephone
US56275477 Apr 19956 May 1997Delco Electronics CorporationMapless GPS navigation system in vehicle entertainment system
US56527075 Apr 199629 Jul 1997Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Vehicle locating and communicating method and apparatus
US568691010 Apr 199511 Nov 1997Ford Motor CompanyVehicular emergency message system with automatic periodic call-in
US5711012 *26 Apr 199620 Jan 1998Paradyne CorporationCellular phone interface for a simultaneous voice/data modem
US571289919 Jan 199627 Jan 1998Pace, Ii; HaroldMobile location reporting apparatus and methods
US5734981 *17 Mar 199531 Mar 1998Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Method and apparatus for call delivery to a mobile unit
US574290519 Sep 199421 Apr 1998Bell Communications Research, Inc.Personal communications internetworking
US5771455 *15 Dec 199523 Jun 1998Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Data messaging in a communications network using a feature request
US5799249 *25 Oct 199525 Aug 1998Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Method and apparatus for a nation-wide cellular telephone network
US5826195 *5 Aug 199620 Oct 1998Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Data messaging in a communications network
US5918172 *27 Sep 199629 Jun 1999Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Multiple number assignment module communication
US59562501 May 199521 Sep 1999Caterpillar Inc.Apparatus and method for autonomous vehicle navigation using absolute data
US6009330 *18 Feb 199828 Dec 1999Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.Method and apparatus for call delivery to a mobile unit
US6018657 *5 May 199725 Jan 2000Highwaymaster Communications, Inc.System and method for communicating a message using a cellular telephone network
US6028537 *13 Jun 199722 Feb 2000Prince CorporationVehicle communication and remote control system
US6144849 *23 Feb 19987 Nov 2000Adc Newnet, Inc.Method and apparatus for over-the-air service provisioning of a mobile telephone
US6215858 *9 Feb 199610 Apr 2001Bell Atlantic Network Services, Inc.Analog terminal internet access
US6233234 *3 Jun 199715 May 2001Bell Atlantic Network Services, Inc.Secure LAN/internet telephony
US6272333 *12 Jun 19987 Aug 2001Motorola, Inc.Method and apparatus in a wireless communication system for controlling a delivery of data
US6298120 *28 Jun 19962 Oct 2001At&T Corp.Intelligent processing for establishing communication over the internet
USD3285875 Jul 199011 Aug 1992Prince CorporationRearview mirror
EP0696149A2 *19 Jul 19957 Feb 1996AT&T Corp.Cellular phone interface for a simultaneous voice/data modem
EP0812120A25 Jun 199710 Dec 1997Nokia Mobile Phones Ltd.Method for using services offered by a telecommunication network, a telecommunication system and a terminal for it
EP0814447A131 May 199729 Dec 1997Daimler-Benz AktiengesellschaftVehicle communications system
GB2221113A Title not available
GB2283350A Title not available
GB2292857A Title not available
WO1982002448A114 Dec 198122 Jul 1982Hackewicz ChesterA rearview mirror having an electronic instrument display
WO1996007110A11 Sep 19957 Mar 1996British TelecommNavigation information system
WO1996029831A1 *7 Mar 199626 Sep 1996Highwaymaster Comm IncMethod and apparatus for call delivery to a mobile unit
WO1997034431A114 Mar 199618 Sep 1997Deutsche Telekom MobilTraffic telematics system
WO1998006227A24 Aug 199712 Feb 1998Highwaymaster Comm IncData messaging in a communications network
WO1999012367A14 Sep 199811 Mar 1999Highwaymaster Comm IncSystem and method for communicating using a voice network and a data network
Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1International Preliminary Examination Report dated Feb. 23, 2001 for International Application No. PCT/US99/17256 filed Jul. 28, 1999.
2PCT Search Report in International Application No. PCT/US 99/17253, dated Mar. 14, 2000, 6 pages.
3PCT Search Report in International Application No. PCT/US 99/17255, dated Nov. 22, 1999, 7 pages.
4PCT Search Report in International Application No. PCT/US 99/17256, dated Jan. 11, 2000, 7 pages.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6496702 *1 Dec 199917 Dec 2002Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.Method and apparatus for providing enhanced communication capability for mobile devices on a virtual private network (VPN)
US6603854 *25 Feb 20005 Aug 2003Teltronics, Inc.System and method for evaluating agents in call center
US6625443 *18 Aug 199823 Sep 2003Siemens AktiengesellschaftMethod for the user-controlled release of wireless telecommunications connections in wireless telecommunications systems, especially DECT systems
US6657557 *8 May 20022 Dec 2003Te Hsin HsuInformation communicating apparatus for vehicles
US6678514 *13 Dec 200013 Jan 2004Motorola, Inc.Mobile personal security monitoring service
US6711399 *12 Oct 199823 Mar 2004RenaultDevice and method for emergency call
US6714778 *15 May 200130 Mar 2004Nokia CorporationContext sensitive web services
US6728731 *15 May 200127 Apr 2004Yahoo!, Inc.Method and apparatus for accessing targeted, personalized voice/audio web content through wireless devices
US6735193 *28 Oct 199911 May 2004Avaya Technology Corp.Method and apparatus for suppression of packets during silence periods in a packet telephony system
US6735435 *30 Mar 200111 May 2004Motorola, Inc.Method for providing entertainment to portable device based upon predetermined parameters
US6754485 *6 Dec 199922 Jun 2004American Calcar Inc.Technique for effectively providing maintenance and information to vehicles
US678556013 Dec 199931 Aug 2004At&T Corp.Speed calling in a wireless centrex system
US6795533 *20 Aug 200221 Sep 2004Mitel Knowledge CorporationIntermediate voice and DTMF detector device for improved speech recognition utilization and penetration
US6819945 *13 Dec 199916 Nov 2004At&T Corp.Wireless centrex feature activation/deactivation
US6895237 *25 Jan 200017 May 2005Qualcomm, IncorporatedMethod and apparatus for responding to an incoming call
US6924750 *25 Mar 20022 Aug 2005Omega Patents, L.L.C.Vehicle tracking unit for controlling operable vehicle devices using a vehicle data bus and related methods
US69879645 May 200417 Jan 2006American Calcar Inc.Technique for effectively providing to a vehicle information concerning a condition of the vehicle
US707963228 Aug 200318 Jul 2006International Business Machines CorporationVoice mail profiles for dynamic voice mail response
US714284414 Nov 200528 Nov 2006American Calcar Inc.Technique for effectively providing services to vehicles
US71588001 Nov 20042 Jan 2007Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.Method and system for limiting content diffusion to local receivers
US7167706 *14 Jul 200423 Jan 2007Cingular Wireless Ii, Llc.Method for registering with a communication service
US72067458 Mar 200417 Apr 2007Yahoo! Inc.Method and apparatus for accessing targeted, personalized voice/audio web content through wireless devices
US7218925 *6 Jun 200215 May 2007General Motors CorporationMethod of initiating a telematics service
US7263367 *28 Apr 200028 Aug 2007Sabot Associates, Inc.Systems and methods for setting a mode of operation of electronic devices
US7286990 *21 Jan 200023 Oct 2007Openwave Systems Inc.Universal interface for voice activated access to multiple information providers
US731984815 Nov 200515 Jan 2008American Calcar Inc.Technique for collecting data from vehicles for analysis thereof
US732129810 Oct 200522 Jan 2008Harris CorporationSkills based routing method and system for call center
US7363036 *15 Apr 200422 Apr 2008Siemens AktiengesellschaftProcedure for registering a new subscriber in a radio system through routers
US74092216 Jun 20065 Aug 2008American Calcar, Inc.Technique for communicating information concerning a product or service provider to a vehicle
US7437143 *23 Feb 200514 Oct 2008Sprint Spectrum L.P.Method and system for setting up emergency services calls to an emergency services network
US7457614 *31 Oct 200125 Nov 2008Pirelli Pneumatici S.P.A.Method and system for providing assistance to vehicles with damaged wheel components
US74669923 Nov 200416 Dec 2008Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US7508298 *7 Apr 200624 Mar 2009Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.Automatic crash notification using prerecorded messages
US752627916 Aug 200628 Apr 2009Corydoras Technologies, LlcCommunication device
US7528974 *28 Feb 20035 May 2009Electronics For Imaging, Inc.Methods and apparatus for providing universal print services and asynchronous message services
US753287920 Aug 200512 May 2009Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US753618923 Jan 200819 May 2009Himmelstein Richard BSystem and method for sending broadcasts in a social network
US7539499 *10 Aug 200526 May 2009Cisco Technology, Inc.Method and system for managing wireless bandwidth resources
US7564957 *20 Oct 200021 Jul 2009Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc.Method and system for call center screening
US7574170 *13 Jun 200611 Aug 2009Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AbMethod and system for identifying sources of location relevant content to a user of a mobile radio terminal
US759639119 Feb 200929 Sep 2009Himmelstein Richard BSystem and method for wireless communication between a vehicle and a mobile unit
US7599715 *19 Feb 20096 Oct 2009Himmelstein Richard BSystem and method for matching wireless devices
US7603112 *2 Apr 200413 Oct 2009Nokia CorporationSystem, mobile station, method and computer program product for managing context-related information
US7653384 *3 Apr 200726 Jan 2010Denso CorporationRemote service system for a vehicle
US7672680 *13 Sep 20052 Mar 2010Sprint Communications Company L.P.Web services architecture system and method
US7729691 *25 Apr 20011 Jun 2010Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.Information portal
US7747291 *24 Aug 200929 Jun 2010Himmelstein Richard BWireless communication method
US777866420 Oct 200617 Aug 2010Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US7783304 *24 Aug 200924 Aug 2010Himmelstein Richard BWireless communication method
US7797001 *1 Apr 200414 Sep 2010Avaya Inc.Location-based command execution for mobile telecommunications terminals
US7840236 *4 Feb 200223 Nov 2010Nokia CorporationCall routing
US785329529 Oct 200614 Dec 2010Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US785624821 Mar 200721 Dec 2010Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US78563153 Oct 200521 Dec 2010Telecommunication Systems, Inc.Method and system for enabling an off board navigation solution
US78652164 Dec 20094 Jan 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US7873390 *3 Dec 200318 Jan 2011Voice Signal Technologies, Inc.Provider-activated software for mobile communication devices
US78817175 Dec 20061 Feb 2011At&T Mobility Ii LlcMethod for registering with a communication service
US788568522 Jul 20108 Feb 2011Himmelstein Richard BWireless communication method
US789013621 Mar 200715 Feb 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US79041099 Oct 20108 Mar 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US790794223 Jul 200815 Mar 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US790797627 Aug 201015 Mar 2011Himmelstein Richard BVehicleTalk
US791716726 Dec 200829 Mar 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US7929950 *9 Jun 200019 Apr 2011Ip Holdings, Inc.Dynamically configurable IP based wireless device and wireless networks
US794523610 Apr 201017 May 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US794525610 Apr 201017 May 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US794528610 Apr 201017 May 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US794528710 Apr 201017 May 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US794937110 Apr 201024 May 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US799603710 Apr 20109 Aug 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US799603818 Dec 20109 Aug 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US8010112 *28 Apr 200530 Aug 2011Sprint Spectrum L.P.Method and system using a media gateway for handoff of a multi-mode mobile station
US801015718 Dec 201030 Aug 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US802400910 Apr 201020 Sep 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US804134813 Jan 200718 Oct 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US804137112 Aug 201018 Oct 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US8054952 *13 Jun 20118 Nov 2011Zvi Or-BachSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US805529812 Aug 20108 Nov 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US806495421 Jan 201122 Nov 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US80649649 Oct 201022 Nov 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US8073920 *3 Oct 20086 Dec 2011Accenture Global Services LimitedService authorizer
US80819629 Oct 201020 Dec 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US808591020 Jul 200927 Dec 2011Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc.Method and system for call center screening
US80862769 Oct 201027 Dec 2011Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US809040223 Jul 20043 Jan 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US809518218 Dec 201010 Jan 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US81215879 Oct 201021 Feb 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US812163526 Dec 200821 Feb 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US812164112 Aug 201021 Feb 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US815045818 Dec 20103 Apr 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US816064228 May 201117 Apr 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US816563012 Aug 201024 Apr 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US818032013 Jul 200915 May 2012West CorporationSystem and method for effecting special number communications by a multi-mode phone using a preferred mode
US81951429 Jul 20115 Jun 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US819522828 May 20115 Jun 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82002754 Feb 201112 Jun 2012Iwao FujisakiSystem for communication device to display perspective 3D map
US822434625 Feb 200817 Jul 2012Himmelstein Richard BSystem and method for matching users in a wireless communication system
US822437612 Feb 201117 Jul 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82295043 Aug 201124 Jul 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82295124 Jan 200924 Jul 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82339383 Aug 201131 Jul 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US823896312 Feb 20117 Aug 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82411286 Oct 200614 Aug 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US824430028 May 201114 Aug 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82603523 Aug 20114 Sep 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82709649 Jul 201118 Sep 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82800156 Apr 20062 Oct 2012Microsoft CorporationProviding contextual information with a voicemail message
US829048213 May 201116 Oct 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US82958571 Feb 201123 Oct 2012Captivate Network, Inc.Information portal
US829587612 Feb 201123 Oct 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US829588019 Oct 201123 Oct 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US83011946 Sep 201130 Oct 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US8306194 *22 Oct 20046 Nov 2012Nokia Siemens Networks Gmbh & Co. KgMethod for reducing costs during the transfer of unidirectional information flows
US831157829 Aug 201113 Nov 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US83209586 Sep 201127 Nov 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US832635514 Sep 20114 Dec 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US832635714 Feb 20124 Dec 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US83319833 Aug 201111 Dec 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US833198414 Sep 201111 Dec 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US83355386 Sep 201118 Dec 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US83407206 Sep 201125 Dec 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US83407264 Oct 200825 Dec 2012Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US8340730 *11 May 201025 Dec 2012George Allen PallottaSystem and method for safely blocking mobile communications usages
US834583526 Sep 20111 Jan 2013Zvi Or-BachSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US834630314 Feb 20121 Jan 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US834630414 Feb 20121 Jan 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US83519843 Aug 20118 Jan 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US836411721 Feb 200829 Jan 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcSystem and method for updating location information of voice-over-internet protocol based devices for E911 service
US83642016 Sep 201129 Jan 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US836420214 Feb 201229 Jan 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US836987529 Oct 20095 Feb 2013Sprint Communications Company L.P.Web services architecture for providing federated data relating to a mobile device
US838024811 Mar 201219 Feb 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US839192011 Mar 20125 Mar 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US840638818 Jul 201126 Mar 2013Zvi Or-BachSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US8417212 *18 May 20109 Apr 2013General Motors LlcMethods for providing emergency services to a mobile vehicle
US841728814 Feb 20129 Apr 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US842532115 Jul 201223 Apr 2013Iwao FujisakiVideo game device
US8428548 *24 Oct 200823 Apr 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcEmergency message menu
US843075415 Jul 201230 Apr 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US843336415 May 201230 Apr 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US844250113 Sep 201214 May 2013Ip Holdings, Inc.Dynamically configurable IP based wireless devices and networks
US844258311 Mar 201214 May 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US84472891 Nov 201121 May 2013Ip Holdings, Inc.Dynamically configurable wireless device and server communication system
US844735311 Mar 201221 May 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US844735411 Mar 201221 May 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US8452291 *5 Jul 201028 May 2013Research In Motion LimitedSystem and method for alternating between in-band and out-of-band communication path
US84523074 Oct 200828 May 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US8472430 *3 Apr 200625 Jun 2013Microsoft CorporationVoIP packet prioritization
US847291624 Oct 200825 Jun 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcPreformatted emergency text message
US847292713 Sep 201225 Jun 2013Ip Holdings, Inc.Dynamically configurable mobile device, cellular phones, and wireless networks
US847293520 Jan 201225 Jun 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US847293613 Sep 201225 Jun 2013Ip Holdings, Inc.Dynamically configurable IP based wireless devices and wireless networks
US847293713 Sep 201225 Jun 2013Ip Holdings, Inc.Dynamically configurable IP based mobile devices and networks
US848336831 Aug 20129 Jul 2013Microsoft CorporationProviding contextual information with a voicemail message
US848906224 Oct 200816 Jul 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcSystem and method for sending an emergency message selected from among multiple emergency message types from a wireless communications device
US849867229 Jan 201130 Jul 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US852112124 Oct 200827 Aug 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcSystem and method for performing an abbreviated power-up sequence on a wireless communications device
US85274213 Dec 20083 Sep 2013Accenture Global Services LimitedVirtual customer database
US853262918 Feb 200810 Sep 2013Vascode Technologies Ltd.Unstructured supplementary service data call control manager within a wireless network
US853263018 Feb 200810 Sep 2013Vascode Technologies Ltd.Unstructured supplementary service data application within a wireless network
US853270311 Mar 201210 Sep 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US85379898 Feb 201117 Sep 2013Tal LavianDevice and method for providing enhanced telephony
US853837024 Oct 200817 Sep 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcEmergency message button and method on a wireless communications device for communicating an emergency message to a public safety answering point (PSAP)
US853848529 Jan 201117 Sep 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US85384864 Feb 201117 Sep 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device which displays perspective 3D map
US85384981 Jun 200617 Sep 2013Silver State Intellectual Technologies, Inc.Technique for effective communications with, and provision of global positioning system (GPS) based advertising information to, automobiles
US85431579 May 200824 Sep 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device which notifies its pin-point location or geographic area in accordance with user selection
US854813111 Mar 20111 Oct 2013Tal LavianSystems and methods for communicating with an interactive voice response system
US85481358 Feb 20111 Oct 2013Tal LavianSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US854842124 Oct 20081 Oct 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcBattery charge reservation for emergency communications
US8548508 *30 Jul 20101 Oct 2013General Motors LlcMethod of identifying telematics calls
US8549657 *19 Aug 20081 Oct 2013Microsoft CorporationOwner privacy in a shared mobile device
US85538598 Feb 20118 Oct 2013Tal LavianDevice and method for providing enhanced telephony
US855426927 Jun 20128 Oct 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US856573427 Aug 201022 Oct 2013Seong Sang Investments LlcAdvanced wireless vehicle services
US856581218 Jul 201222 Oct 2013Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US857230323 May 201129 Oct 2013Tal LavianPortable universal communication device
US85942803 Feb 201026 Nov 2013Zvi Or-BachSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US860042216 Jul 20123 Dec 2013Seong Sang Investments LlcLocating a target unit in a wireless network
US860621824 Oct 200810 Dec 2013Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcSystem and method for handling emergency image messaging
US86257568 Feb 20117 Jan 2014Tal LavianSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US862611224 Oct 20087 Jan 2014Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcMulti-button emergency message generation
US863061631 Aug 201214 Jan 2014Intel CorporationOperations method for providing wireless communication services
US863921426 Oct 200728 Jan 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US866604621 Apr 20114 Mar 2014Logodial LtdSystem and method for providing enhanced telephone call functions associated with caller and/or callee information during telephony ringing signal
US867627324 Aug 200718 Mar 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US867670518 Apr 201318 Mar 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US868195118 Oct 201125 Mar 2014Tal LavianSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US86823975 Apr 201225 Mar 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US868777718 Oct 20111 Apr 2014Tal LavianSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US86940525 Apr 20138 Apr 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US87124725 Apr 201329 Apr 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US87311482 Mar 201220 May 2014Tal LavianSystems and methods for visual presentation and selection of IVR menu
US873282216 Dec 201120 May 2014Microsoft CorporationDevice locking with hierarchical activity preservation
US874451511 Sep 20123 Jun 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US875092122 Jul 201310 Jun 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US875583823 Apr 201317 Jun 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US876172024 Oct 200824 Jun 2014Centurylink Intellectual Property LlcSystem and method for generating and communicating updated emergency messages
US87748625 Apr 20138 Jul 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US87815265 Apr 201315 Jul 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US87815275 Apr 201315 Jul 2014Iwao FujisakiCommunication device
US20100003952 *24 Oct 20087 Jan 2010Embarq Holdings Company, LlcEmergency message menu
US20110189985 *5 Jul 20104 Aug 2011Research In Motion LimitedSystem and Method for Alternating Between In-Band and Out-of-Band Communication Path
US20110281544 *11 May 201017 Nov 2011George Allen PallotaSystem and method for safely blocking mobile communications usages
US20110287733 *18 May 201024 Nov 2011General Motors LlcMethods for providing emergency services to a mobile vehicle
US20120028656 *30 Jul 20102 Feb 2012General Motors LlcMethod of identifying telematics calls
CN101228049B10 Apr 200619 May 2010美国丰田汽车销售公司Automatic crash notification using prerecorded messages
WO2002060190A2 *16 Nov 20011 Aug 2002At & T Wireless Services IncA short message point-to-point protocol gateway having a standard interface
WO2004086774A2 *26 Mar 20047 Oct 2004Sunder Nandan RajanAttribute based communication
WO2005036907A1 *8 Oct 200421 Apr 2005Intuwave LtdA method of enabling a wireless information device to access customer support services
WO2005043797A2 *1 Nov 200412 May 2005Warner Bros Entertainment IncMethod and system for limiting content diffusion to local receivers
WO2007114613A1 *31 Mar 200711 Oct 2007Keun Young LeeCall service method of the call center where the integrated message system is had all
WO2007140108A2 *14 May 20076 Dec 2007Sybase 365 IncSystem and method for emergency notification
WO2009052523A1 *20 Oct 200823 Apr 2009Airbiquity IncWireless in-band signaling with in-vehicle systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification455/414.1, 455/466, 455/404.1, 455/422.1, 455/418, 455/445
International ClassificationH04M3/51, H04Q3/00, H04W4/00, H04W76/02
Cooperative ClassificationH04W76/02, H04M2207/18, H04W4/00, H04M3/51, H04Q3/0029
European ClassificationH04Q3/00D3, H04W76/02, H04M3/51
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
11 Dec 2013FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12
2 Mar 2011ASAssignment
Effective date: 20101115
Owner name: VEHICLE IP, LLC., TENNESSEE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FUNDAMENTAL WIRELESS, LLC.;REEL/FRAME:025884/0636
11 Dec 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
21 Nov 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: FUNDAMENTAL WIRELESS, LLC., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:VEHICLE IP, LLC.;REEL/FRAME:020143/0113
Effective date: 20070815
7 Jun 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: VEHICLE IP, LLC, TENNESSEE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:REMOTE DYNAMICS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017730/0492
Effective date: 20051222
29 Mar 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: REMOTE DYNAMICS, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:MINORPLANET SYSTEMS USA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:017435/0593
Effective date: 20040630
21 Sep 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
15 Oct 2002CCCertificate of correction
3 Sep 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: MINORPLANET SYSTEMS USA, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:@TRACK COMMUNICATIONS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:013248/0390
Effective date: 20020722
Owner name: MINORPLANET SYSTEMS USA, INC. 1155 KAS DRIVERICHAR
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:@TRACK COMMUNICATIONS, INC. /AR;REEL/FRAME:013248/0390
28 Apr 2000ASAssignment
Owner name: @TRACK COMMUNICATIONS, INC., TEXAS
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:HIGHWAYMASTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:010793/0636
Effective date: 20000406
Owner name: @TRACK COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 1155 KAS DRIVE RICHARD
23 Oct 1998ASAssignment
Owner name: HIGHWAYMASTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC., A DELAWARE COR
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KENNEDY, WILLIAM C., III;BEASLEY, DALE E.;PARKER, TERRY S.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:009706/0470;SIGNING DATES FROM 19980924 TO 19981015